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Guards Pilfer Food and Property from Political Prisoners at Urmia

Posted on: 21st September, 2018
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iran human rights

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – In an unannounced and atypical search of the political ward of Urmia Central Prison on Tuesday, September 18th, prison guards confiscated prisoners’ food and destroyed some of their property.

An informed source told HRANA that the search, which took place in section 12 of the prison, was presided by two prison officials known only as Khanzadeh and Bayramzadeh.

“Prison guards sifted through their belongings and food, eventually breaking some of the items and confiscating food that the prisoners had purchased, such as cookies, yogurt, cans of tuna, milk, cake, and the like,” the source said. “The prisoners protested, but officials ignored them.”

The source added that prisoners wanting to replenish their pilfered stores will face much higher prices at the prison shop due to rising inflation in the suffering economy.

“Many basic items such as cleaning supplies are no longer in stock at the prison shop due to inflation,” the source said, adding, “and because of the rising prices, the prison kitchen does put meat in its meals, and serves only potato, eggplant, and crushed tomatoes that are barely edible, if at all.”

The frisking of prisoners and search of their cells is permissible under Iran National Prison Bureau regulations. Such regulations, however, are subject to conditions intended to protect prisoner rights.

While inspections aim to uncover prohibited items such as weapons and narcotics, several reports indicate that these procedures, particularly in political wards, often result in harassment, insults, and the destruction or confiscation of prisoners’ belongings.