“I Counted Neither as Dead Nor as Alive”; A Report about 7 Years of Imprisonment of Shir-Ahmad Shirani

HRANA News Agency – Shir-Ahmad Shirani, Baluch prisoner who is serving the 7th year of his 22 years of imprisonment sentence in exile in Ardabil, have a shocking story about tortures that he experienced and violation of his rights as a human being.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Shir-Ahmad Shirani, son of Chaker, born on September 21, 1983, single, from Zahedan and resident of Tehran, was arrested by the intelligent service on June 2, 2000.
Mr. Shirani had been under interrogation and torture for 2 years in solitary confinement of intelligence service’s detention centre.
He told his close confidants about these two years, “I was blind folded in solitary confinement and isolated from anybody even my family, inside a cell where toilet was inside it and was separated with a 0.5 meter wall, in the middle of the cell. Alongside other physical and mental tortures during those 2 years.”
He continued, “One of the notorious tortures was lashing with cable, in which they tie the body to a bed and lash underneath the feet with a large cable. It was performed many times on me through those 2 years, and its signs are visible. Also, breaking the nose and rim and electric shock were other tortures that were used. All of these tortures were carried out by intelligence service officers for getting confession from me and other suspects.”
“During this period we were not considered either alive or dead, and my family did not know if I was alive or not.” He continued.
“In all of the interrogations, we were blamed for everything which had occurred in the region and that was the direction of interrogation. Everything happened was the discriminatory and oppressive policies by authorities. Even all of interrogators and some of high rank security and judicial officials confirmed that my claim was true.
On the other hand, intelligence service was exploiting the fact that some of my relatives were considered as opposition, some of whom had been killed by the regime and some others, including my brother that lived with Rigi’s family for some time, was forced to live outside of country for their political activities.
The intelligence service used it in any way they wanted for reaching their goals, by committing actions out of their regulation.” He stated.
Mr. Shirani, after 2 years in solitary confinement, and following wet and dry hunger strike, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, on charge of “acts against the national security”, in a fabricated trial, and transferred to Zahedan prison.
Political prisoners of Zahedan, including Shir-Ahmad Shirani, were beaten by prison guards on May 25, 2012. These prisoners started a hunger strike in protest against religious insults by the prison authorities. Beating the prisoners was so severe, that at least 30 prisoners were injured in head and one prisoner was blinded.
After this incident, he was kept in solitary confinement for 2 months, and then transferred to Garmeh prison in Ardabil, on July 3, 2012.
Mr. Shirani described this prison to his confidants, “it was a small prison and had only one ward but the population of prison was more than its capacity. Most of prisoners were held there for drug related charges and rubbery. There was no service and facility, the phone was 3 minutes per day and one washroom and one bathroom was almost always closed and out of order, due to overpopulation.”
After serving 6 months in this prison, he was transferred to drug addicts ward in Meshkinshar prison, without a prior notice and while he was blindfolded, on December 27.
This Balouch prisoner stated about the 3 years that he was held there, “For 3 years and half I lived with people who were drug addicted, homeless, or people who had lost their families due to their addiction. They did not have any personality stability, and behave like mentally ill people. They were mostly in their delusions.”
“However the authorities were ignoring the condition of the ward. Even when Dr. Jahangiri, head of Prison Bureau paid a visit to Ardabil prison, I explained my issue in a letter that I personally gave him. Unfortunately it did not have any effect and I was told that the order had come from higher authorities and they could only decide about them”. He said.
Shir-Ahmad Shirani was transferred to central prison of Ardabil on February 17, 2016, again blindfolded. He was kept along 5 other political prisoners who were exiled with similar condition, along 8 other prisoners, in 12m2 cell, while they were banned from having phone calls. These prisoners were always victims of violent actions of authorities, for belief and racial differences.
Some time ago, Mr. Shirani who is currently being held in ward number 7 of this prison, was transferred to the quarantine ward for 10 days as a punishment, for complaining about the bad behavior of a prison employee. Similar punishment has carried out on other political prisoners of this prison.
According to the prison’s physician, Shir-Ahmad Shirani, needs surgery operation in order to be able to walk in future, due to damages that are inflicted on his legs during torture and also medical negligence, but he has been deprived of it so far.
Besides, this prisoner is suffering from kidney and stomach illness and prison clinic just gives him painkillers.
Shirani’s family, including his old father and mother, had been coming for visiting him from long a distance to Ardabil, but due to humiliating behavior of prison authorities, now they have stopped it.
If article 288 of Islamic penal act would be applied to this prisoner, he would receive reduction on his sentence, but security officials have intervened and stopped the process.
Currently, Shir-Ahmad Shirani is being kept along with 5 other political prisoners in exile, with the names of Ali Paxh-Gol, Abdulkarim She-Bakhsh, Maher Ka`bi, Mohammad Saber Malikraeisi, and Noor-Ahmad Hasanzehi, in a ward that is known as “death ward” in Ardabil prison.

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