More than 10 inmates on hunger strike in northwest Iran prison

Urmia Central Prison

Ten prisoners with who who suffers from severe health problems held at Urmia Central Prison, have begun on hunger strike since November 5, protesting the authorities denying them medical treatment.

They are held in prison clinic, in the worst conditions possible, sources say.
Iran Human Rights Monitor has received testimonies indicating that doctors at the prison prisoners face numerous issues of concern. Prison officials could literally care less about the inmates and are depriving them minimum necessities.

Urmia Central Prison was established in 1969. Approximately 5,000 people are detained in the prison, which has an official capacity of 700.
This has led to the overcrowding, which often results in deplorable living conditions for inmates. Prisoners often have to sleep on concrete floors of hallways, even near washbasins.

There are some cases of political prisoners being locked up with potentially dangerous criminals which violates Iran’s own regulations on the principle of separation of crimes.

Reports indicate torture and inhuman treatment such as solitary confinement, harsh interrogation tactics, the denial of phone calls, and family visits is ‘routine’.

The facility is one of the most notorious prisons in the West Azerbaijan province.
Most executions of prisoners from western Azerbaijan and even Kurdistan prisons are being carried out in Urmia Central Prison.

It is worth noting that recently more than 70 political prisoners went on a week-long hunger strike in Urmia Central Prison despite pressures by the prison authorities.

The inmates launched their hunger strike on Monday, October 14th, protesting a vicious attack by the prison’s special guards units targeting ward 12 where political prisoners are held.

Following this recent attack, the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) issued a statement calling on all international human rights organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran and the Special Rapporteur on Torture to condemn the inhumane treatment of prisoners. The NCRI also called for an international probe into atrocious prison conditions in Iran, especially the conditions of political prisoners.