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Iran’s Abuses of Political Prisoners

Political Prisoners are tortured in wards that are alike dungeons, where they stay in horrific conditions.
Political Prisoners are tortured in wards that are alike dungeons, where they stay in horrific conditions.

Three protesters from the November 2019 uprising have been sentenced to a total of 13 years of prison and 222 lashes by the 102nd Branch of the Behbahan Criminal Court, following a trial in their absence.

Sattar Afshinpour was sentenced to 11 years of prison and 74 lashes on the charges of “destruction and torching banks and public facilities” and “disruption of public order”, while Bahman Amini and Mohammad Tayebi were sentenced to one year of prison and 74 lashes each on the charge of “disruption of public order”.

During the uprising, several Behbahan residents were killed by security forces, including:

  • Mehrdad Dashti Nia
  • Mahmoud Dashti Nia
  • Farzad Ansari Far
  • Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati
  • Ehsan Abdollah Nejad
  • Mohammad Hasham

In November 2020, the police destroyed the road to the Behesht Rezvan Cemetery shortly before the year anniversary to prevent the friends and family of the dead from gathering to remember their loved ones.

The Human Rights News Agency reported in October that 36 of the arrested Behbahan protesters had been sentenced to a total of 109 years of prison and 2,590 lashes.

In a related story, political prisoner Akbar Bagheri has been harassed and tortured by Greater Tehran Penitentiary authorities after undergoing surgery.

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Akbar Bagheri was finally allowed to go to Loghman Hospital in Tehran for haemorrhoid surgery after two year of being denied medical care in prison. But whilst he was in hospital, his family was not given information about his condition and he was kept shackled to a bed against doctors’ orders.

Upon returning to prison on February 22, Bagheri was kept on the quarantine ward, where those suspected of having coronavirus and those being brought into the prison are held, but this was an inappropriate place to put him because he is at addition risk of infection because he already suffers from severe anaemia, digestive, kidney and liver problems.

He was arrested on February 21, 2018, for protesting outside the parliament in Tehran with other defrauded investors. His phone was confiscated and he was detained under torture for two days before being moved to Ward 4 of Evin Prison.

He was then sentenced to 9 years in prison for “assembly and collusion” and “propaganda against the state”. During this time, he was moved without warning to the Great Tehran Penitentiary and is also separated from his six-year-old daughter and elderly mother who live in Kermanshah.

Another political prisoner said on February 24 that he had sewn his lips shut in protest to the authorities’ failure to address his demands, refusing to take his heart medication. Khaled Pirzadeh went on hunger strike on February 22 because he was denied medical care.