Twenty suicides have been recorded in Urmia Central Prison in the past two weeks due to the horrid prison condition which has had a devastating impact on inmates.
An informed source said that the inmates “cannot tolerate prison conditions”.
“In response to the prisoners’ protests, prison authorities give out psychedelic pills. After a few days of using these pills, the inmates lose mental control and try to commit suicide,” the source said.
The source said most of the inmates who are in a non-stable mental state are in Section 14 and the “Consultation” section.
“The latest case was a prisoner from the minors’ section who broke a window and tried to eat the shattered glass to kill himself. He is in a critical condition,” the source added.
There have already been several reports of prisoners committing suicide in this prison due to severe pressure and harsh condition at the prison.
In June 2020, two inmates in the High-Security Section attempted suicide.
Farzin Nouri consumed poison and Hadi Rostami cut his wrist.
They were transferred to the hospital.
Another case was in May, when Mohammad Ghaderi, who was detained in April attempted suicide to escape the continuous torture of IRGC Intelligence agents.
Urmia Central Prison Conditions
Urmia Central Prison inmates are regularly beaten and tortured under various pretenses.
The hygienic conditions are not tolerable in the prison. The prisoners are not separated by crime, and political prisoners are kept in one section with criminals.
Urmia Central Prison has the highest population density compared to all the prisons in West Azerbaijan province. Most of the executions in West Azerbaijan province and even Kurdistan province in western Iran are carried out in this facility.
The prison is overcrowded. Prisoners live in close quarters, unable to maintain distance while sharing bathrooms. Many prisoners are forced to sleep on the floor in corridors, or even next to the restrooms.
Prisoners who have long complained of unsanitary conditions and inadequate healthcare say the staff have failed to minimize the risks of Covid-19 transmission and ignored their medical needs and requests.
With rapidly escalating Coronavirus outbreak, basic protocols to prevent the virus from spreading are being ignored in the prison.
Reports indicate that over 70% of the inmates have contracted Covid-19 while there’s poor access to health care, water, sanitation, and hygiene.
One of the reasons for the rapid spread is the concealment of infections by prison authorities.