Prisoners ordered to pay for eavesdropping equipment
HRANA News Agency – Authorities have ordered all inmates to pay for setting up eavesdropping equipment for the prison facility in Zahedan.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the authorities have threatened to cut off the phone system if prisoners refuse to pay for the equipment.
“We’ve decided not to pay,” one of the prisoners says. “Soon no one will have access to a phone around here.”
The authorities have estimated that it will cost approximately $1,000 to purchase and set up the necessary eavesdropping equipment in each ward. There are 11 wards in Zahedan Prison, and 3,500 inmates are incarcerated there for a variety of reasons. About 20 inmates are identified as political prisoners or prisoners of conscience. In early 2013, there were between 50 to 60 political prisoners kept in this facility. After two rounds of widespread protests by the prisoners, the majority of political prisoners were exiled to other locations such as Semnan, Bandar Abbas, Ardabil and Qazvin.
Prison conditions in this facility are deplorable, and the inmates are denied basic necessities such as decent food, light, ventilation and sanitation. In the last few years, there have been many reports on the lack of food and basic health care in Zahedan Prison. The facility is also overcrowded, and the inmates are not separated by the type and severity of their crimes. Additionally, there have been reports of unannounced, secret executions in this prison.