Pleasanton man hospitalized in hunger strike outside White House

21 08 2009

PLEASANTON — A 52-year-old man from Pleasanton was hospitalized Thursday on his 21st day of staging a hunger strike outside the White House on behalf of Iranian refugees detained in Iraq.

“He cannot talk. He was too weak,” said Sima Razavi, wife of hospitalized protester Mehdi Razavi.

The Iranian-American man, who works as a general contractor in the East Bay, was taken by ambulance Thursday morning to George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He had a low pulse and low blood pressure but was expected to recover, she said.

Mehdi Razavi is protesting the July 28 raid by Iraqi police forces on Camp Ashraf, a community of about 3,500 Iranian exiles who are opposed to the Iranian government. Eleven residents were killed when police raided the camp and 36 people were arrested.

Because the detainees are members or supporters of an Iranian rebel group, the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, the camp’s supporters fear the Iraqi government will hand them over to Iran. They want the U.S. government to take action to protect them.

Mehdi Razavi had been imprisoned three times as a political dissident in Iran and has friends who live in Camp Ashraf, his wife said.



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