HRANA News Agency – The Central Prison of Ardabil which is used by judicial institutions as a place to exile the political and non-political prisoners, has always been subject to doubled problems such as the authorities personalized manner, the lack of basic facilities such as hot water shower, telephone and sewage problems, and also violence with no legal justification. These miss managerial behaviours have increased in recent years, as prison staff members told a 56-year-old prisoner during the winter inspection that “if you want to go back, you should bray like a donkey.”
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), the problems of the prisoners in the central prison of Ardabil and the unlawful behaviour of the prison authorities have been rising in recent months.
The major problems that prisoners have been struggling with over the years, are the problem with hot water and sewage.
Taking shower was prohibited on Fridays and on the other days there was no hot water in the bathrooms in this prison. Prison authorities prevent prisoners from showering with different excuses to put pressure on them.
One of the other health problems of this prison is the blockage of sewage wells. For example, on December 31, 2017, after a sewage sewer blockage of one of the Wards of this prison, they did nothing for four days, despite the warnings of the prisoners. Prisoners who monitor the horrible situation, bought acid at their own expense, but this was useless, and prison authorities told prisoners: “We do not have enough funds to repair the sewage, you should pay yourself for the repair.” This was responded by the negative reaction of the prisoners. Finally, on January 7, prisoners were provided a pipe opener and they repaired the pipes themselves.
Prison authorities not only do not address the complicated condition of the prison environment, but also neglect the situation of prisoners with their problems, also when prisoners raised the problem with the blockage of sewage, Mr. Farhad Norouzi, one of the chiefs of the Wards of this prison, said that prisoners deliberately tried to sabotage.
Farhad Norouzi did not stop and hold the prisoners in the cold weather of winter, without proper cover, as a punishment, for one hour in the prison yard.
Since Muhammad Saber Malek Reisi started his hunger strike to protest against being beaten in prison, several wards’ telephones had been cut off for a while.
Mokhtari, head of the security of all the prisons in Ardebil, claimed that the news of this prison was informed to the media by political prisoners, and this was the consequence of that, and threatened prisoners, “If you pass the news of the prisoners out of jail, we will take all the facilities including bathrooms, phones, close and cabin visits.”
This has been the subject of protests by prisoners. They responded that the bathroom and telephone were not privileges and that they were prisoners’ rights, but head of the security did not pay any attention to the protests and told one of the political prisoners: “If you make problems, then you will be tighten to the prison yard’s bars in the cold weather”.
The authorities did not stop with these unlawful behaviours. They also violently upheld the human dignity of prisoners, as reported, they took Vali Shayegan, a 56-year-old prisoner, and to humiliate him, told him; “If you want to go back to the Ward, you should bray like a donkey”. Only after the prisoner brayed, he was allowed to return to his ward from the cold weather in prison yard.
The prison has long witnessed the mistreatment of prisoners, as Mohammad Saber Malek Reisi, in an open letter to Hassan Rouhani has mentioned that he has been locked up in a cuff for 14 hours in cold weather in the yard of this prison.
It has been reported that Mohammad Saber Malek Reisi, after the end of long hunger strike, suffers from problems such as stomach upset, and the health authorities do not pay the least attention to the situation of this prisoner.
Currently, Mohammad Saber Malek Reisi, along with five political prisoners in exile, Shir Ahmad Shirani, Ali Pezhgol, Abdolkarim Shahbakhsh, Maher Ka’bi and Noor Ahmad Hasan Zehi, are imprisoned in the central prison of Ardebil.