News : Human rights

Report: Deplorable Humanitarian Conditions in Iran’s Prisons

Iran's prisons

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) published a report, on October 13, about the mounting pressure on Iranian prisoners and worsening humanitarian and human rights conditions inside Iran's prisons.

The report explains that in recent months, the Iranian authorities have resorted to various measures to spread fear in the Iranian society and discourage people from joining the ongoing protests across Iran.

Following is an excerpt from this report.

Karaj Central Prison

One of the notorious prisons near the Iranian capital, Tehran, Is Karaj Central Prison.

“Every hall in the prison has the capacity for 200 people. But prison authorities have effectively packed 700 people in each hall. Due to lack of space and beds in cells, many of the prisoners are forced to sleep on the ground and on cardboards” the reports said.

Referring to poor sanitation and health issues in the prison, the report added, “Prisoners with mental illness and contagious diseases such as hepatitis have been abandoned with no medical care, and they’re mixed with other prisoners, causing the spread of dangerous diseases among the population of the facility”.

“The Karaj Central Prison also has very poor sanitary conditions. Prisoners are faced with water shortages on a regular basis. Every day, from 2 pm to 6 pm, the facility’s water is cut off. According to reports, when prisoners protested the situation, the prison’s chief said, ‘You’re lucky that we haven’t cut off electricity’” the report added.

The MEK report also reveals details on how the prison authorities plunder prisoners and their family members, “Prisoners are also required to pay for soap and other hygiene products. This puts further pressure, who have no means to earn money and must rely on their families to pay for their expenses.”

“The prison authorities consider any protest that involves two or more people as a riot and suppress it brutally. If the prisoners persist in their protests to the poor conditions in the Karaj Central Prison, they face grim consequences that are set up to look like an “accident” in the clinic, a “suicide,” or a fight with other prisoners” the report added.

The report revealed details on extrajudicial measures of prisons authorities and wrote, “One of the new measures authorities of Karaj Central Prison have implemented is the remote sentencing of prisoners. Instead of taking prisoners to court, prison authorities perform trials through video conferencing software. This way, prisoners have no access to their lawyers.”

Urmia Central Prison

In another part, the report explains the situation in another Iranian prison, Urmia Central Prison. These suppressive measures are particularly against the political prisoners. “The chief of the facility said that starting from Saturday, daily meetings for political prisoners will be canceled and replaced with weekly meetings.”

Despite these brutal measure prisoners have continued resistance and demanding their rights forcing prison authorities to back down.

“Political prisoners protested to this measure and threatened to go on strike. Fearing the situation spinning out of control, prison authorities backed down from their decisions and resumed meetings for prisoners,” the report concludes.

 

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