Hamzeh Darvish, a prisoner of conscience imprisoned in Lakan Prison in Rasht, northern Iran, has published a report describing the poor living conditions of the prisoners in this prison. In this report, Mr. Darvish referred to the inhumane conditions and overcrowding of prisoners, poor health, poor nutrition of prisoners and other living problems of prisoners.
The full text of the report of political prisoner Hamzeh Darvish is as follows:
Gilan Central Prison (Lakan Rasht) is located in the west of Rasht city in the belt of Tehran road. The prison has eleven halls and holds prisoners on charges of drug offenses, armed robbery, kidnapping and financial crimes.
Hall 1 of the Lakan Prison is a reception or quarantine hall. Prisoners are kept in quarantine for three to 15 days upon arrival and in poor conditions upon arrival.
Hall 2 and Hall 10 of Lakan Prison are prisons for financial and economic crimes.
Hall 3 of Lakan Prison is known as the Security Hall, or solitary confinement. It has seven rooms, six of which have CCTV. The first room was a dark and cramped place known as Slumdog and is not equipped with a camera.
Prisoners, handcuffed are transferred to a room upon arrival at security. There they are beaten.
Hall 3 of Lakan Prison is the detention center of the interim defendants of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), whose interrogation has not been completed. The inmates of Lakan Prison are also transferred there for three days, six days, 12 days and 20 days after physical clashes with each other. Death row prisoners are also transferred to Hall 3 of Lakan Prison a week before their execution.
Halls 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11 are the places where drug suspects are kept.
Status of Halls 5 and 8
Hall 5 of Lakan Prison is a detention center for detainees and those who have not received a final sentence.
Hall 8 of Lakan Prison is also a place for political prisoners.
Lakan prison halls have 23 rooms. It has eight large rooms and 15 small rooms. The six large rooms have triple beds. And between three to eight people sleep on the bedroom floor. The small room also has two to three triple beds, and between one to five people sleep on the floor in addition.
Another important point: The capacity of each of these halls is about 150 to 200 people. Unfortunately, the prison authorities and the food buffet ignore this issue and keep more than 200 to 400 prisoners in the halls.
It is worth mentioning, Halls 7 and 9 of Lakan Prison are newly built cells and do not have enough infrastructure and strength. During the snowfall, the prisoners of these two halls are divided among other halls.
Bathroom and toilet condition
Approximately 12 bathrooms and 12 toilets are installed in each hall. As usual, some of them are broken and unusable. It also does not have proper air conditioning. Unfortunately, the hot water in the bathrooms in the Lakan Prison halls has major problems.
In each 24 hours, only five times hot water is connected for 10 to 30 minutes. Due to the large number of prisoners, many prisoners do not have time to take a bath.
It should be noted that the bathroom door is locked from 10 pm to 10 am.
Each kitchen has approximately 12 to 18 gas burners for more than 200 people. The gas is connected only in three shifts in the morning, noon and night for three hours. During this short period, many prisoners do not have time to even heat their food, let alone cook it.
The quality of food in Lakan Prison is not good, especially for dinner, and the food reaches the prisoners half-cooked. This food is not edible. Due to the fact that many prisoners are not in a good financial position, they are forced to eat prison food. The rations in Lakan Prison were low, and no one has responded to the protest. The bread situation in Lakan Prison is dire, and no one is taking care of it.
I must say that due to the poor health of Lakan Prison, the coronavirus is still in Lakan Prison. Prison officials and the judiciary ignore the issue and easily. For example, the monthly prison ration, dishwashing liquid, bleach, and disinfectant were less than the number of prisoners in each hall. After finishing it early, the prisoners themselves buy these materials and use them to clean the rooms and halls. There is also a shampoo, razor, soap and tide of poor quality and unsanitary quality in the prisoners’ monthly ration. In many cases, prisoners have been observed to develop skin diseases. The purpose of delivering these unsanitary goods is to state in a report that we give prisoners a sanitary ration so that the authorities are not reprimanded.
Phone status and family contact
The telephone situation has become a serious problem for the inmates of Lakan Prison. There are about six to seven public telephones in each of the halls of Lakan Prison.
This number is too small for more than 200 people, so a prisoner has to wait in line for an average of half an hour to two hours to be able to talk to his family for seven to 12 minutes. After talking, they should take turns again.
Regarding the lack of telephone lines, prison officials have stated that Gilan Telecommunications does not cooperate with prison officials.
It should be noted that all telephone lines in Lakan Prison are cut off for 24 hours every month for unknown reasons.
Stores in all Iranian prisons are in the hands of Hami Omid company under a contract with the Prisons Organization. Products offered in stores are packaged with the company logo and name and is offered to prisoners. The company packs third-class products and foodstuffs and sells them at a higher price than first-class products. Like beans, peas, lentils, sugar, tea sugar etc.
Other products are also sold to prisoners at a higher price than the price listed on them.
It should be noted that the main cargo store buys bulk at green food terminals of very low quality and cheaper and sells them to prisoners at a higher price.
Other problems with Lakan Prison include newspapers and magazines that are not provided to prisoners. Magazines, that are more than six months old, are sold in the prison store at several times the price.
Another major problem of Lakan Prison is the lack of a special place to meet the family. It does not matter at all to the prison authorities, and they do not take care of this situation.
Finally, I must mention that there are more problems than these, which I have summarized.
According to all prisoners, all these problems are due to the inefficient management of the director of Lakan Prison, Mr. Zamani, as well as the judge in charge of the prison Mr. Kheiri.