Reports from inside Iran indicate that following the spike in executions over the past two months of January and February 2014, a new wave of pressures on prisoners, especially political prisoners, has started in March, preluding a new cycle of executions.
Javad Momeni is the deputy executive official of Evin Prison in Tehran with a record of 30 years of work in Iran prisons. He is known to prisoners as the second Lajevardi (Lajevardi was the head of Evin Prison and was known as the “deaths-man and butcher of Evin”). Momeni recently threatened the prisoners, claiming he can treat them any way he wishes. He can send a prisoner to solitary confinement with a single phone call, or he can impose any other punishment he might be in the mood for.
Kaleme website reports that on March 2nd a prisoner by the name of Akbar Amini was on his way to an urgent medical appointment, accompanied by prison security forces. Suddenly he was turned around and returned back to his ward. This was despite Amini securing an order from Tehran’s prosecutor for the appointment long before.
In a similar case, on March 1st, Asghar Qatan was returned to prison the night before his surgery. Asghar Qatan is a 60-year-old prisoner in ward 350 of Evin Prison who had been transferred out the previous week to have surgery in a medical center outside the prison. In order to put more pressure on him, the night before his operation he was returned back to Evin Prison from the hospital. He is a political prisoner who spent six years in prison in the 1980s. He was arrested again in 2010, charged with having connections to opposition groups. He was sentenced to five and a half years and sent back to Evin.
These added pressures are imposed in other Iran prisons as well:
-On March 1st, a prisoner by the name of Hassan Zolfaqari was transferred to solitary confinement for his execution. He is 23 years old and has been waiting six years in Zahedan Prison, southeastern Iran, for his death sentence to be carried out.
-On March 1st, five prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement. These five were transferred to solitary cells from wards 1 and 8 of Bandar Abbas Prison in southern Iran. They range from 25 to 31 years old in age. All five have spent the last six years in prison.