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Iranian writer and filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad in 2008
The wife of jailed Iranian filmmaker and writer Mohammad Nourizad says he has been on hunger strike for the past 40 days, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Fateme Maleki made the announcement in an open letter published on April 28 on opposition websites, including Kaleme.

She later told RFE/RL, "When we last met on March 18, he told me that he shall now refuse meals and would no longer meet anyone or make contact by telephone."

Maleki said Nourizad went on hunger strike because the prosecutor and judiciary have ignored complaints he filed in late autumn. In those complaints Nourizad said his interrogators assaulted him and that they and a judge verbally insulted his family.

“He has personally filed these complaints with the prosecutor from within the prison, but the authorities have ignored them for the past six months," Maleki said.

Nourizad was detained in December 2009 after publishing several open letters critical of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and 50 lashes on charges of insulting the supreme leader and spreading antistate propaganda.

He was released on bail in June last year but was returned to Evin prison two months later after he wrote another open letter critical of Khamenei.

Maleki said she was unaware of Nourizad's condition as well as whether the prison management had shown a reaction to his hunger strike.

She said Nourizad was suffering from severe dental problems resulting in the loss of some teeth, as well as kidney and skin conditions.
Mansour Osanlu in an undated photograph
Family and supporters of jailed Iranian union leader Mansour Osanlu have renewed appeals for authorities to let him out for medical treatment, saying his health condition has worsened, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Osanlu, the leader of Tehran's municipal bus service union, is serving a five-year prison term for acting against "national security" in a case widely condemned by rights groups and international labor organizations.

The International Transport Workers' Federation said today it had received news that Osanlu's heart condition has worsened and that he urgently needs surgery.

"I think the government is still afraid that someone like Osanlu can have a major impact to promote the independent workers' movement in Iran and that is why they are putting him in jail without any justification," said Mac Urata, the secretary of the ITF's Inland Transport Section. "We know very well from the reports we have from Iran that his health condition is deteriorating, especially his heart problem is getting worse and worse. The government must immediately release Osanlu so that he can have better treatment, surgery, for the health conditions that are troubling him."

Osanlu's mother, Fatemeh Golqezi, told Radio Farda today that Osanlu has three blocked arteries.

"Should he not go under surgery soon, his condition will worsen and I could only hold the authorities responsible for this," she said.

"We have sent several applications and met several doctors recently, but we haven't gotten any response from the authorities allowing him to leave prison as per his heart condition," she said.

Golqezi said Osanlu only has four months of his sentence to serve.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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