Iran Deliberating Operating Political Prisoners to Endanger and Intimidate Them

By INU Staff

INU - Iranian prison authorities are deliberately separating political prisoners and placing them in cells with violent criminals in order to endanger their lives and prevent them from speaking out, according to dissident Alireza Golipour, who remains behind bars and risks persecution for coming forward.

Golipour, who is imprisoned in Evin Prison on the charge of "action against national security", said: "Prison authorities scatter the political prisoners among criminal inmates, to punish them further. Many of these criminals serve as the Islamic Republic informants to report on political inmates."

He said that the Regime's intelligence agents separate political prisoners to isolate them and prevent them from having a unified voice, but that this endangers political prisoners, as was the case of Alireza Shir-Mohammad-Ali, 21, who was stabbed to death by two inmates in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary last month.

Shir-Mohammad-Ali was sentenced to eight years in prison for "anti-regime propaganda" and insulting Regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He went on hunger strike between March 14 and April 19 to protest the dangers facing inmates on the ward.

The prison authorities recruited a prisoner convicted on drug-related charges, and Hamidreza Shojazadeh, a murderer on death row, to incite a fight in the ward. When the fight broke out, there were no guards on the ward and phones were disconnected, according to Iran Human Rights Monitor (IHRM).

This is all despite the fact that under Article 69 of the State Prisons Organization regulations, it says that "all convicts… will be separated based on the type and duration of their sentence, prior record, character, morals and behaviour, in accordance with decisions made by the Prisoners Classification Council".

This is not happening as Golipour, 33, and many other prisoners point out.

He said: "The prisoners sentenced for crimes such as murder, rape, and kidnapping not only act as informers for the prison authorities but make the life for political inmates twice as difficult and burdensome… Whenever the intelligence agents want to pressure political prisoners, they use criminal inmates for the purpose, leaving no tracks of their involvement."

Golipour, who is serving a twelve-year sentence for “spying for foreigners, specifically the United States", said that prison authorities also prevent political prisoners from seeing doctors as further punishment.

He said: "We are practically condemned to bear pains and a gradual death that nobody can accept."

It should also be noted that at least five prisoners have died in highly mysterious circumstances in the past two years and their deaths dressed up as suicides without a proper investigation. While several prisoners have died on hunger strike protesting the "unbearable conditions" of the prisons, including political prisoner Vahid Sayyadi Nassiri.