Qarchak is an Iranian prison for women located in Qarchak district, in the Varamin neighborhood of Tehran. Iranian authorities reportedly practice extrajudicial killings, torture, and other violations of human rights against prisoners there. Furthermore, female political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and followers of ethnic and religious minorities endure intolerable pressure on behalf of the guards.
On December 9, state-run media outlets reported the first female warden’s appointment in Iran. Chief of Tehran Prison Organization Seyed Heshmatollah Hatat ol-Gheib officially inaugurated Soghra Khodadadi as the warden of Qarchak Prison.
In this respect, she dominated a prison that contains seven niches and ten halls. Each hall’s capacity is less than 100 inmates. However, over 200 prisoners are usually kept in each hall. According to human rights activists, the regime holds between 1,500 to 2,000 people in these facilities.
This facility had previously been a poultry farm. Then, it was redesigned as a center for men to quit addiction. And later, it became a prison for women.
Soghra Khodadadi’s Background
Like many other torturers and interrogators in Iran, there is not much information about her previous careers. Certainly, she could not be promoted as the warden of the most important Iranian prison for women without being involved in serious acts of human rights violations. Meanwhile, in the past few weeks, her oppressive orders and behaviors prove this reality.
Soghra Khodadadi Taghanaki graduated from the Isfahan Prison Organization’s Scientific-Practical Center in 2017. In other words, she has trained in the notorious Prison Organization to pressure and torture prisoners.
Soghra Khodadadi’s First Ten-Day Record
Since her inauguration on December 9, Khodadadi has proven that she and her predecessor Mehdi Mohammadi are cuts of the same cloth. In her first ten days, she has intensified pressure on female inmates to show her loyalty to the dictatorship.
Merely three days after becoming the Warden of Qarchak Prison, Khodadadi commanded a brutal operation against political prisoners. Qarchak’s guards brutally raided Ward 8 with batons and electric shockers.
Soghra Khodadadi intended to remove female political prisoner Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraie and transfer her to Ward 2A of Evin Prison. However, other prisoners severely protested this unreasonable transfer, which made a scandal for the new warden and revealed her cruel nature. Afterward, Soghra Khodadadi took revenge on the injured prisoners by depriving them of medical care.
Mandatory Chador Hijab for Female Prisoners
To intensify pressure on female prisoners, Soghra Khodadadi has also planned to impose compulsory hijab with chador for all female prisoners. She acts with impunity in this prison to commit whatever crime she wants against defenseless inmates, particularly political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
Resorting to different oppressive methods—based on her education in the Prison Organization’s Scientifical-Practical Center, she has deprived prisoners of their fundamental rights. Soghra Khodadadi, in some cases, exerts more pressure in comparison to her predecessor. These cases include discrimination, deprivation, prisoners’ density in various wards, and high prices of essential goods in the prison’s shop.
Moreover, Soghra Khodadadi does not observe minimum human principles and social norms. She deprives inmates of medical care with obscene language.
Parading Remaining Bones of Iran-Iraq War’s Victims in Qarchak Prison
In such a short period, she has proven her loyalty to the fundamental dictatorship. In the prison’s closed and camped environment, she launched a carnival by parading the remaining bones of victims of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war to exert additional psychological pressure on prisoners.
Soghra Khodadadi’s disgusting act only fueled prisoners’ hatred against the entire ruling system and its systematic inquisition.
Observers call Qarchak Prison a place for torturing political prisoners. Additionally, ordinary female inmates lack access to media according to infrastructural deprivation rooted in the mullahs’ outdated law.