Tyranny in Rajai Shahr Prison

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Rajai Shahr prisoner Majid Khoshdasht received a beating today, October 3rd from Warden Hassan Kord, punishment for having complained about two prison personnel who assaulted him earlier this morning.

An informed source told HRANA that Khoshdasht was returning to Ward 1 from the prison shop when he was accosted by prison personnel Khanjani and Borzouie, who dealt injuries to his head, eyes, and ears.

Khoshdasht reached out to his warden Hassan Kord, who rather than addressing the violent episode “beat him and returned him to the ward,” a close source said, adding “although he is in bad shape, with injuries to his head and face, and severe injuries to his eye and ear, he has yet to receive medical attention.”

Unprovoked attacks by Rajai Shahr personnel — and Hassan Kord in particular — are not without precedent, and one prisoner told HRANA that seven had occurred in the past month. The physical and psychological pressures of Ward 1’s mobster-and-crony social order have driven prisoners there to hunger strike or suicide, according to HRANA reports: on September 12th of this year, Ali Ahmadi, held in Ward 1, committed suicide to escape incessant harassment from prisoners doing Kord’s bidding; on July 9th, an assault by Rajai Shahr personnel left broke prisoner Behrouz Hosseini’s left wrist and right tibia. Along with fellow prisoner Abbas Yousodi, Hossein had already been beaten in May of last year by Rajai Shahr’s internal manager. Goaded by prisoners, the manager reportedly doubled down on his attack, severely injuring Hosseini and Yousodi.

Rajai Shahr authorities roughed up Sunni prisoner Hamza Darvish this past May, aggressively intimidating him from speaking critically of those in charge. At the time of being accosted, Darvish was in handcuffs and shackles, mid-transfer to a medical examiner who was to treat him for health issues incurred during an extended hunger strike.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sloganeered against civil rights repressions, publishing a Civil Rights Charter and verbally pushing for the comprehensive implementation of its provisions. Article 64 of the charter reads, “anyone arrested, convicted, or imprisoned is entitled to their civil rights, including proper nutrition, clothing, health and medical care, educational and cultural services, religious worship and practices.” Thus far, though, Rouhani’s rhetoric has yet to materialize into concrete initiatives.