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Two Inmates Tortured to Death in NW Iran

Human rights defenders reported that authorities in Iran tortured two inmates to death in Urmia Central Prison on May 17.
Human rights defenders reported that authorities in Iran tortured two inmates to death in Urmia Central Prison on May 17.

According to human rights defenders, authorities in Iran tortured two inmates to death at Urmia Central Prison, in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, on Monday, May 17.

The opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) identified the victims as Ahad Yektavatan and Amir Rezaei, 35.

“On Monday night, the prison’s guards raided a ward and severely beat several prisoners… Then, criminal agents threw down Ahad Yektavatan from the second floor. Afterward, they transferred him to solitary confinement and tortured him. Given the severity of the torture, he became unconscious and lost his life,” the Persian-language PMOI/MEK website wrote on May 17.

Furthermore, the human rights association No to Prison – No to Execution provided more details about the other victim Amir Rezaei. According to the report, he was held in prison due to drug-related charges for ten years. He had been convicted to 20 years in prison meaning he had served half of his sentence.

“Interrogators threw down Amir from the second-floor stairs, breaking his spinal cord. Some said, ‘his spinal cord was amputated, and he suddenly fainted. However, interrogators dragged him in the corridor while he was unconscious. They took him to solitary confinement, cuffed his hands and feet, and continued the torture,” said a source familiar with the case to No to Prison – No to Execution.

“The blows so heavy that he never regained consciousness forcing interrogators to transfer him to the prison clinic. However, he lost his life due to the intensity of torture and agents’ blows to his head and body one hour later,” the source added.

Other inmates said that Urmia Central Prison Warden Amir Sohrabi and his agents attempt to forge the cause of death. The wardens claim that Rezaei died of excessive narcotics consumption. However, the signs of torture and beatings are visible on his body.

According to human rights organizations and activists, authorities in Iran frequently practice torture and other ill-treatment against inmates. In its September 2, 2020, exclusive report, Amnesty International revealed that detainees of the gas protests in November 2019 were subjected to harrowing torture.

“Widespread torture including beatings, floggings, electric shocks, stress positions, mock executions, waterboarding, sexual violence, forced administration of chemical substances, and deprivation of medical care; Hundreds subjected to grossly unfair trials on baseless national security charges; Death sentences issued based on torture-tainted ‘confessions,’” Amnesty said in its report.

Throughout 2020, Iranian interrogators killed numerous inmates under physical torture and other ill-treatments.

“Iranian interrogators and prison guards killed several inmates under torture, including, juvenile offender Danial Zeynolabedini at Mahabad Prison, western Iran, Mohammad Davaji, 19, at Amirabad Prison in Gorgan city, northern Iran, as well as Farhad Vosuqi, 27, at Khorramabad Central Prison in Lorestan province,” a previous INU report read.