Nearly 200 inmates in the notorious Qarchak Prison in Varamin detailed the horrid conditions of the prison in a letter to Tehran’s Director-General of Prisons.
They announced on Saturday, August 17, 2019, that they would reject the food provided by the authorities until their demands are met.
In their letter to the director-general of prisons, Heshmatollah Hayat al- Ghayb, the enraged inmates detained in Section 5 in Qarchak Prison, wrote that due to horrific conditions, some prisoners had taken to injuring themselves, a harmful way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration.
Still others have been forced to work for their cellmates, washing their dirty laundry, to make enough money to buy their essentials.
The prisoners wrote that since their families were banned from bringing them clothes from outside of prison, they were forced to buy high priced, low quality clothing from the prison shop.
The women wrote that prisoners in Qarchak Prison, also known as Shahre Rey Penitentiary, “suffered for two weeks” before last month’s prison inspection in an attempt to make a show of good conditions at the prison.
“Scenes like removing the prisoners’ clothesline, one that for many years has become the only way they can make an income by washing other prisoners’ clothes, washing the entire prison by the prisoners, and bring the plant vases in the corridor for those few minutes of your visit. But we female prisoners of Ward 5 of the Qarchak Prison in Varamin tried to explain the prison problems to you and your delegation during that same visit, but our efforts were in vain,” the prisoners said in their letter.
Qarchak Women’s Prison located on the Tehran-Varamin Highway, holds approximately 2,000 women and some children.
Prisoners with different crimes are not segregated in Qarchak Prison. There were several reports of non-political inmates physically attacking political prisoners, mostly on orders of prison officials.
Prisoners are not given proper food or medicines. The absence of medical care for the sick, causes dangerous epidemics in prison and given rise to high number of prisoners contracting Hepatitis and AIDs.
The prison has only four showers for some 200 inmates. The water is salty and has caused numerous skin diseases and other health complications for the detainees.
In Ward 5 of the Qarchak prison, there are inmates who have been washing other prisoners’ dirty laundry for years to receive the money needed for buying their daily needs, including food, which is inadequate in prison.
To stop prisoners from practicing their right to objection and defiance, the prison officials threaten the prisoners by sending them to solitary confinement, along with the those who have mental health problems.
The conditions of this prison is so notorious that it is used as a means of pressuring political prisoners of Evin, as officials of the Prosecutor’s Office and Evin Prison always threaten to transfer them to Qarchak Prison.