News : Human rights

Iran Political Prison Threatened With Death and Sexual Violence

Narges Mohammadi is an Iranian human rights activist and the vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center

An Iranian civil activist has received threats of death and sexual violence from another inmate, according to her mother.

In a letter to the head of the Iranian Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi, Ozra Bazargan, the mother of political prisoner Narges Mohammadi, wrote that her daughter is being threatened by an inmate convicted of two murders, robbery, and drug trafficking.

Bazargan said that prison authorities are aware of the threats made and that if anything happens to her daughter in the Prison of Zanjan, the Judiciary must account for it.

Mohammadi was forcibly moved to Zanjan in December after being brutalized in Evin Prison by the warden and guards. Zanjan is a worse facility, especially for Mohammadi who suffers from GI and lung problems, because hygiene levels are far below international standards, with authorities refusing to allow disinfectants, even when Mohammadi offered to pay for them herself.

Mohammadi is serving 16 years for “association and collusion against national security” because of her work with the League of Human Rights Advocates and various feminist groups and holding gatherings about citizens’ rights and air pollution.

When she started this sentence on March 15, 2017, she had just finished a six-year sentence for “disseminating propaganda against the state” and “association and collusion against national security”.

To make matters worse, Coronavirus is rapidly spreading across Iran and making its way into all prisons.

To cope with this, the Iranian regime has allowed some prisoners serving short sentences for non-violent offenses to leave temporarily for safety. This does not apply to political prisoners though, who is being held on national security charges.

The families of some Kurdish political prisoners reported that their requests for their relative's temporary leave were turned down by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Intelligence Department of various cities in Kurdistan.

The situation is more serious for political prisoners suffering from serious medical conditions, who are more vulnerable to infection and have already been denied appropriate medical treatment.

Families of political prisoners are still trying to get their most vulnerable relatives released, citing formal recommendations by doctors in the prison dispensaries that their lives would be in danger if they remained in prison with the limited medical resources. So far, they’ve had no luck.

The political prisoners in danger, include:

  • Zeinab Jalalian, who is serving life in prison in Khoy, West Azerbaijan Province. She has been diagnosed with various illnesses including migraines and a worsening eye condition called pterygium.
  • Parvin Advaii, who is detained in the Prison of Sanandaj (Center for Rehabilitation), and suffers from Thyroid malfunction.

 

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