Iranian translator halts hunger strike, source says

Story highlights

  • Iranian translator Soleimani Nia has been imprisoned since January on unknown charges
  • He has halted his hunger strike in the hope authorities will consider a letter from him, a source says
  • Nia has been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison

A prominent Iranian literary translator imprisoned since January on unknown charges has suspended his hunger strike after 28 days, a source close to the family said Thursday.

Soleimani Nia had written a letter of protest to the authorities and was told that it would be considered only if he ended his hunger strike, the source said.

For this reason, he has halted his protest for one week to see if the authorities will look at the letter, the contents of which are not known, the source said.

In the course of his 28-day hunger strike, Nia has needed medical treatment on one occasion and remains in a prison hospital ward.

He will be able to consume only non-solid food for a while because of the effects of the hunger strike on his digestive system.

The last time he spoke to his family was a few days ago and very briefly, according to the source.

Nia was in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison, notorious for its harsh conditions, for some of his time in custody, the source said last month. He was then moved to a general section of the prison.

Associates have previously described Nia as being physically delicate.

Firoozeh Dumas, an Iranian-American author whose best-selling book "Funny in Farsi" Soleimani Nia translated for the Iranian audience, described her friend as "a very gentle soul."