Hundreds of protesters detained at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary (GTP) for taking part in demonstrations against the fuel price hike and the downing of the Ukrainian passenger flight are being held onwards run by thieves and drug dealers, like “security guard” and convicted drug seller Vahid Safari. These violent convicted criminals hired by the prison warden Hedayat Farzadi, according to Iran HRM’s informed source.
Safari pushes the protesters to take drugs, especially crack cocaine, saying that protesters will find life inside hard and this will make it easier for them.
The security forces then closed the bathroom and shower complex, where there are no closed-circuit cameras so that inmates could use drugs there.
A similar thing occurred after the 2017 and 2018 protests. The Iranian Judiciary systematically uses this tactic against young protesters who fight oppression and injustice. It is often said that it is easier to find drugs than a book in the GTP, with political prisoners asking for books and being told there is no budget for them, while drugs like crack, heroin, opium, and B2 pills can be used without fear of punishment.
In August 2018, Iran HRM received a report from inside the GTP, where more than 80% of the prisoners are addicts.
The report read: “[This] is a prison for political and non-political prisoners and usually does not have any media attention and human rights activists protesting the conditions. Attention to the social and welfare conditions of “ordinary” non-political prisoners in [here] is a matter of urgency. Their rights have been trampled on and they have no backers. They are under inhumane conditions and are experiencing conditions that are unbearable even for a day. Without a doubt, they are experiencing irreparable damage to their body and soul.”
The conditions at the GTP are also overcrowded, lacking basic hygiene requirements, and does not provide clean food and water for the inmates. The hierarchy within the prison means that prisoners who have been charged with fraud and embezzlement are given the best treatment, with beds to sleep on, socks to wear, and cigarettes to smoke, while robbers have the next highest status. Political prisoners and minorities are at the bottom of the pile.
Thousands have been executed in Evin prison and former inmates have told horror stories of electrocution, rape, and torture – it’s no wonder Iran’s Evin Prison is known as one of the most brutal on earth.
In 1988, 30,000 thousands of dissidents from the opposition group — the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI) — were hanged in the prisons of the regime, in one of the most savage political mass killings in modern history.
Nowadays, anyone who speaks out against the regime in Iran can find themselves behind Evin’s deeply fortified walls. Bloggers, teachers, and academics are arrested in the middle of the night and thrown in Evin’s squalid cells after being convicted of questionable crimes without proper legal defense. There are said to be so many intellectuals in one wing of the prison that it’s earned the dark nickname “Evin University”.