Iranian political prisoners react state run media claims

Reacting to an article published in the Iran official daily newspaper describing the situation of political prisoners as favorable, young political prisoners, Saba Kord Afshari and Yasamin Aryani, sent an open letter from notorious Evin Prison, revealing tough prison conditions.

On January 17, 2019, the official Iran daily newspaper claimed that “The security (political) convicts have no problems and are in the best situation in terms of phone calls, family visits and using medical facilities.”

Yasamin Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari stated in their open letter that, “All of these claims are unfounded and false.”

They mentioned a few examples, including the fact that “the women’s ward of Evin Prison did not have a telephone for many years, and the only way the prisoners could contact their family was a weekly 20-minutes visit. After a series of follow-ups, a telephone was finally brought in the ward; the activities included a 20-day hunger strike by some of the loved ones. Despite the efforts we made, it did not work out, and instead of 60 minutes of telephone calls per week, each person only has 30 minutes, that means only three days a week for 10 minutes.”

They then pointed out the visitation ban of two political prisoners Golrokh Iraee and Arash Sadeghi and that they have been uninformed about each other for 10 months. Yasamin Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari also noted that women political prisoners had to go on a hunger strike for access to dental care after a year of follow-up.

In part of their letter referring to political prisoner, Maryam Akbari Monfared, Yasamin Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari wrote, “According to the law of prisons, every prisoner is granted a three to five day leave every two months, while there are those here after 10 years of their imprisonment have not been granted leave despite having the leaving conditions. ”

In the end, they pointed out the shortage of food distribution, which has had a harmful effect on the female political prisoners.

Saba Kord Afshari and Yasamin Aryani were among five young women who have been sentenced to spend time in prison for participating in protests last August.
Yasaman Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari are sentenced to one year.
Reports, at the time indicated that Yasaman Aryani, 23, was arrested after helping an old woman who was thrown to the ground by anti-riot units.

Right after their arrest, the young detainees posted a message on their experience and calling for help via a cellphone from inside a State Security Force van as they were being taken to jail.

Thousands of enraged protesters poured into the streets of several Iranian cities for several days in early August 2018, protesting the country’s faltering economy, skyrocketing inflation, hardship and hiking prices.

The protesters soon openly chanted against the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and other clergy who have been ruling Iran for four decades.

Reportedly, dozens of protesters were placed behind bars in Evin and fifty female detainees in Qarchak prison, which is described as the largest prison for women in Iran.

Evin Prison, the Iranian regime’s notorious torture factory

The state-run media describe the situation of political prisoners as “favorable” while numerous reports prove that inmates, particularly political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are routinly subjected to harrasment and illtreatment in prisons.

Recently, a prisoner has written about atrocious conditions in Evin prison, which is notable as the primary site for the housing of Iran’s political prisoners.

“The wards of Evin Prison are packed with inmates, far higher than the capacity. Twenty to twenty-five inmates are held in one room, most of whom sleep on the floor. The food is very poor in quality. They use soya in the food that is specially made for livestock. The food literally cannot be eaten. There is no sign of vegetables or any protein-rich foods. The inmates are served half-cooked rice and soya on a daily basis.

“The store sells some food stuffs at very low quality, in very limited quantities at skyrocketing prices. These items are at least 20 percent more expensive than ordinary items sold outside of the prison. The store provides fruits once every 20 days at very low quantity and extremely high prices.

“According to the prison’s rules and regulations, one loaf of bread should be provided with meal. However, these days each inmate receives only one and half loaf of bread for the entire day and it is very low in quality. The inmates are told they have to purchase more bread if they wish. They are even demanding the prisoners pay for hygiene goods such as trash bags.

“Any inmate unable to afford this must do chores/services for the prison, such as round up trash, clean various areas and …

“Each inmate must receive one razor, some tide, shampoo and a small towel, toothpaste and a toothbrush. In the past four months, they have no longer provided toothpastes, toothbrushes or towels. Other hygiene necessities have been cut in half and shampoo is only provided once every two months.

“In regards to those who become ill, there is literally no medical care. There is not even any medicine or medical care for simple cases of colds. Doctors only visit a very limited number of inmates each day. Each section with 200 inmates are only allowed to send five people for such visits. Even if you are able to be visited there is literally no medicine. Prison authorities say, ‘A noble individual must be found to purchase medicine because the prison has no responsibility in this regard.’

“Inmates must pay huge amounts of money to call their family members and such services are not provided by the prison.

“In ward 8, where 800 inmates are held, there are 40 phones that are open only 12 hours a day. Each prisoner is officially permitted to have a call lasting for only half an hour. However, one third of this time is eaten up to enter the various codes needed to open the necessary lines.

“Another problem is that prison officials receive bribes from certain inmates, and thus they do not allocate the time equally among all inmates. This has resulted in quarrels and even fights among ordinary prisoners.”

Having being condemned 65 times by the United Nations for its hideous human rights violations, the Iranian regime cares nothing about the inmates’ rights. That is why each prison is turned into business opportunities for the regime officials, let alone the torture and executions taking place in such dungeons.

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