Rajai Shahir prison is also known as Gohardasht Prison and is situated in a town in the northern outskirt of Karaj, approximately 20 km west of Tehran. It is a high-security prison, and reportedly has the worst living conditions for prisoners.
It is believed that at least 15 prisoners were transferred without notice to the high-security prison. They were not allowed to take their medications, or any other personal belongings. They lost their hygiene products, clothing and the food that they had purchased to supplement their already meager diet.
Saying she is deeply alarmed by the prisoners’ deteriorating medical condition and lack of medical attention, Ms. Jehangir alleges that they are also ill-treated during their hunger strike.
Conditions in the prison are described by Amnesty International as “suffocating.” In the cells, the windows are covered with metal sheets, so there is no light or air, and access to clean drinking water is denied. The prisoners are not given sufficient food, and there are no beds for them. The report also said that the prisoners are denied contact with their families and are not allowed phone calls.
According to the U.N expert, international law states that depriving prisoners of family contact, medical care, or restricting access to legal representation is against humanitarian laws. She urged the Iranian government to find a prompt solution to the situation of the hunger strike, such as a dialogue between the government officials and prisoners. She said that both parties should work to resolve the situation as soon as possible, and in good faith.
Originally from Pakistan, Ms. Jehangir was appointed as a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran by the United Nations in September 2016. She has been active in several causes in Tehran and has brought many human right issues to the attention of international world and media. She is nationally and internationally recognized, and has won many awards and accolades. She is working for women’s rights in Iran, as well as for the protection of minorities, and freedom of religion.