“Black Tuesdays” Prison Hunger Strikes Against the Death Penalty

March 20, 2024, noon

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); March 20, 2024: Political prisoners from five prisons who have been participating in mass hunger strikes against the death penalty for the last seven weeks, have called for support from “all awake consciences and free people.”

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, political prisoners in Ghezelhesar Prison, Evin Prison, Karaj Penitentiary, Mashhad Central Prison and Khorramabad Central Prison have on hunger strike every Tuesday against the implementation of the death penalty in prisons. The hunger strike was initiated by political prisoners in Alborz’s Ghezelhesar Prison where group executions were carried out on a weekly basis after the closure of Rajai Shahr (Gohardasht) Prison last summer. The first hunger strike took place on 29 January 2024 in what became known as “Black Tuesdays” after prison officials cracked down on anti-death penalty protests at the prison. In the course of the last seven weeks, political prisoners in four other large prisons have joined the strikes on a weekly basis.

In 2023, at least 834 people were executed in Iran, with 7 hangings carried out in public spaces. The following statement was issued on the last Tuesday of the Iranian calendar year, marking the 8th Black Tuesday.


To the noble and free people of Iran,

We, a group of prisoners, have been on hunger strike every Tuesday for the past seven weeks to protest the issuance of death sentences and executions, and to stop the killing and execution machine.

Today, on the last Tuesday of the year, as we hunger strike for the eighth week, we remember all the victims of the religious tyranny's repression system, particularly those executed.

The aim of our ‘Black Tuesday’ campaign and the weekly hunger strikes is to draw the public’s attention to the fact that ‘the death penalty is state murder, is an irreversible punishment and a tool of repression and intimidation of the despotic minority government ruling the country.’

We are deeply grateful for the support of all who have joined the ‘Black Tuesdays’ campaign for “No Death Penalty” and have become our voices.

Now, on the eve of the new year and the arrival of the spring of nature, we extend our greetings to all our compatriots and we hope that the new year will be the year of victory for the Iranian people and the realisation of freedom and justice. And soon, in a society free from discrimination, violence, tyranny and exploitation, a system guaranteeing human rights for all citizens will emerge and medieval orders such as the death penalty will be abolished.

We are confident that the day is not far when the Iranian people will achieve democratic power to determine their own destiny and no citizen will be subject to oppression and injustice because of their opinion. But until that day, we see it as our moral duty to continue to protest the death penalty from behind bars in the coming year, and we call on ask all awake consciences and free people to support our campaign.

Finally, in light of the recent reports presented at the UN Human Rights Council and the necessity for international condemnations of human rights violations and executions in Iran, we believe that the victory of the people and achieving justice is not possible except through unity and solidarity of the Iranian people. In the case of the death penalty, we emphasise the need for unity and collective action to stop the executions regardless of the opinion, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and type of charges, and we ask for support from all free consciences in Iran and the world to walk this difficult path.

A group of prisoners on ‘Black Tuesday’ hunger strike in Ghezelhesar, Evin, Karaj, Mashhad and Khorramabad prisons