Hossein Hashemi and Mohammad Turkmani End Their Hunger Strike in Greater Tehran Prison

Posted on: June 16th, 2021

On June 12, political prisoners Hossein Hashemi and Mohammad Turkmani ended their hunger strike following their return to section 2 of the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hossein Hashemi and Mohammad Turkmani went on strike on June 1 and 2 after being transferred to the detention center for prisoners accused of violent crimes.

This transfer was a violation of the UN principle of separation of prisoners based on crime.

 

 

 

Political Prisoner Reza Sarvelaiti Serving out Sentence in Greater Tehran Prison

Posted on: June 14th, 2021

Political prisoner Reza Sarvelaiti is currently enduring his sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Sarvelaiti is one of the detainees of the November 2019 nationwide protests.

In September 2020, Branch 24 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Amouzad, sentenced Mr. Sarvelaiti to 10 years imprisonment on charges of burning public property, insulting the supreme leader, and disrupting the public order. Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Ahmad Zargar, later reduced the sentence to eight years.

Reza Sarvelaiti was sent to Tehran prison to endure his 8-year sentence, in November 2020.

Political Prisoner Sasan Niknafs buried after Death in Greater Tehran Prison

Posted on: June 10th, 2021

The body of Sasan Niknafs, a political prisoner who died in Greater Tehran Prison on Monday, was buried.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Tehran Prisons Organization claims that the place of death was Firoozabadi Hospital in Tehran. However, an informed source stated that in reality, Niknafs’ body was taken to a hospital outside the prison after his death.

Sasan Niknafs was suffering from myriad mental and physical health problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and severe depression. By most definitions, Niknafs was unfit to serve time in prison, but his mother’s efforts to obtain a certificate of intolerance were unsuccessful until after his death. Moreover, despite the clear urgency of his condition, Prison officials significantly delayed sending Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison. He died on June 7.

 

Death of Sasan Niknafs Confirmed by General Directorate of Prisons in Tehran Province

Posted on: June 9th, 2021

On Monday, June 7, the General Directorate of Prisons of Tehran Province finally confirmed the death of political prisoner Sasan Niknafs in Greater Tehran Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Tehran Prisons Organization claims that the place of death was Firoozabadi Hospital in Tehran. However, an informed source stated that in reality, Niknafs’ body was taken to a hospital outside the prison after his death.

The political prisoner was suffering from myriad mental and physical health problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and severe depression. The Prisons Organization confirmed in its June 7 report that Niknafs had once attempted suicide.

By most definitions, Niknafs was unfit to serve time in prison, but his mother’s efforts to obtain a certificate of intolerance were unsuccessful until after his death. Moreover, despite the clear urgency of his condition, Prison officials significantly delayed sending Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison.

In the last two days, several political prisoners in the Greater Tehran Prison have been interrogated regarding Niknafs’ drug use. A statement issued by the Tehran General Directorate of Prisons says that drug use was the cause of Niknafs’ deteriorating condition, without mentioning the forensic report.

According to an informed source, prison officials are attempting to make the case that self-medicating was the cause of Niknafs’ death as they did for Behnam Mahjubi, a prisoner who died earlier this year under similarly mysterious conditions after being denied proper medical treatment.

In February, prison authorities declared that Sufi dervish activist Behnam Mahjubi died after what they say was poisoning due to self-medicating and medication consumption, despite evidence from forensic reports to the contrary. According to the forensic medical order, Niknafs needed to be under medical monitoring. Instead, the extent of his treatment was a prescription of 2 Largactil tablets (chlorpromazine hydrochloride) and 1 Clonazepam, daily, by the prison health center.

Reckless behavior among Greater Tehran Prison officials, especially regarding political prisoners, has long been a burden on the mental and physical health and safety of inmates. The news of Sasan Niknafs’ death due to the negligence of prison officials has once again raised concerns about other political prisoners being held in Greater Tehran Penitentiary.

 

 

Khaled Pirzadeh on Day 9 of Hunger Strike in Greater Tehran Prison

Posted on: June 9th, 2021

Khaled Pirzadeh has been on a hunger strike since May 31 in the Greater Tehran Prison.  This demonstration, Pirzadeh’s second hunger strike of the year,  is in response to prison officials’ denial of visitations and leave in the 25 months since his imprisonment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pirzadeh has suffered from low blood pressure, digestive problems, and severe pain in his muscles, joints, and eyes as a result of the hunger strike.

Earlier this year, Pirzadeh went on a hunger strike following the failure of authorities to fulfill their promise to agree to parole. Pirzadeh ended his hunger strike in March after authorities promised that his demands would be met, but they did not follow through.

In May of 2019, the political prisoner was sentenced by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, to 5 years in prison, and an additional 2 years for “insulting the leadership”.  According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, of the 7 total years, 5 can be enforced on Pirzadeh on the charge of “conspiracy and collusion”.

Khaled Pirzadeh underwent foot surgery in August 2020. His legs and spine were severely damaged during detention and required further surgery and physiotherapy. He was also barred from being hospitalized in December 2020 despite having a heart problem.

Prison officials have now asked Pirzadeh to end his strike and promised to address Mr. Pirzadeh’s demands, as before. Whether Pirzadeh accepts their offer given the dubious precedent they have set remains to be seen.

Reports Indicate the Death of Sasan Niknafs in Prison; The Family is Worried and Waiting for Prison Officials to Respond

Posted on: June 7th, 2021

As of Monday, June 7, reports indicate that political prisoner Sasan Niknafs has died in the Greater Tehran Prison due to medical negligence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, prison officials significantly delayed sending Mr. Niknafs to a properly-equipped hospital outside the prison, despite the clear urgency of his condition.

Niknafs has long suffered from diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure, and psychological problems.

The political prisoner was finally transferred to the prison’s health center two days ago where he reportedly died.

Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals sentenced Niknafs to eight years in prison on charges of conspiracy against the country’s security, propaganda against the regime, and insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic and the leadership. 5 years of imprisonment applied to him after applying article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.

36-year-old Niknafs, father of two girls aged 8 and 9, endured eleven months of incarceration in poor physical and psychological condition. According to his lawyer, during a recent meeting, the effects of self-harm were visible on his hands.

Prison authorities have not officially announced the news of his death at the time of this writing despite repeated inquiries from his family and lawyer.

 

 

 Political Prisoner Soheil Arabi Faced with New Charges

Posted on: June 4th, 2021

On May 31, Soheil Arabi, a prisoner of conscience in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, was taken to a virtual arraignment hearing on new charges.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 3 of the Evin Prosecutor’s Office held the hearing and charged Arabi with “propaganda activities against the regime and disturbing the public opinion”.

Mr. Arabi was accused of creating reports on the poor condition of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, criticizing the conduct of prison authorities, especially the prison’s assistant prosecutor, going on a hunger strike to support political prisoners deprived of  medical treatment, and writing statements in support of the nationwide protests of November 2019.

Arabi was punitively transferred from the Greater Tehran Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj last September. He was then summoned and acquitted by Branch 8 of the Shahr-e-Shahri Prosecutor’s Office for another lawsuit in December.

Soheil Arabi has been imprisoned since November 2013 and has been deprived of leaves of absence throughout his entire imprisonment.

Mohammad Turkmani Punitively Transferred to the Ward of Prisoners Accused of Violent Crimes in Greater Tehran Prison

Posted on: June 4th, 2021

On June 1, political prisoner Mohammad Turkmani was punitively transferred to section 4 of the Greater Tehran Prison. Turkmani is currently being held alongside prisoners accused of violent crimes.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the transfer was made in violation of the principle of separation of prisoners based on crime.

Turkmani has been serving a five-year sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison since February of this year.

In 2019, the political prisoner was sentenced by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Salavati, to seven years and six months in prison on charges of insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic, insulting the leadership, propaganda against the regime, and blasphemy.

The applicable sentence was reduced to five years in prison by the court of appeals.

The principle of separating prisoners accused of violent crimes is not without precedent; Hossein Hashemi, another political prisoner who was punitively transferred to section 4, was violently beaten by cellmates on June 2.

Arjang Davoodi Transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj in Eighteenth Year of Imprisonment

Posted on: June 3rd, 2021

Last week, 69-year-old political prisoner Arjang Davoodi was transferred from Zahedan Prison in Sistan and Baluchestan Province to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary and then to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, in 2016  Mr. Davoodi was transferred to Zabol and then Zahedan Prisons in Sistan and Baluchestan Province to serve his sentence in exile.

Davoodi is currently serving his 18th year in prison.

The Greater Tehran Penitentiary; The Corona Virus Crisis, And The Deprivation of Hundreds Of Prisoners Of Drinking Water

Posted on: June 27th, 2020

HRANA News Agency: The water supply has been cut off at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5 since last night, and hundreds of prisoners have been deprived of access to drinking water. Furthermore, 52 prisoners at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 1 have fallen ill with COVID-19. Additionally, a prisoner at the Prison’s Wing 5, Hall 4, has been vomiting blood and showing symptoms similar to those of the Corona virus. The return of prisoners from leave [into the general prison population] without first being quarantined is among the most significant reasons for the spread of the Corona virus in the country’s prisons, including the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.

According to a report by HRANA News Agency, the news arm of the Human Rights Activists in Iran, the water supply has been cut off at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5 since last night, and hundreds of prisoners have been deprived of access to drinking water.

The cutting off of hot water at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5, Ward 2, Hall 1, since nearly two weeks ago, has caused problems in cleaning and maintaining hygiene at the Hall. Furthermore, since 11 o’clock last night, the water supply has been cut off at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 5, and prisoners have been deprived of access to drinking water there. The Hall’s emergency supply of water was also depleted on the morning of June 19, and prison authorities have locked the Halls’ doors at this Wing in order to prevent prisoners from protesting.

A source close to the family of a prisoner incarcerated at the Penitentiary stated to HRANA: “Initially, the cutting off of hot water created problems for prisoners, and especially affected older individuals, who have subsequently caught colds or pneumonia due to bathing with that same [cold] water. Additionally, the drinking water supply has been depleted in Wing 5 and the conditions have gotten much worse than before for prisoners.”

Water conditions have never been that good in this Prison [to begin with]. The water supply for bathing is shut off for sometimes 17 to 18 hours a day. Based on the experience of past years, it seems that these shut-offs will become even more intense gradually and as it gets warmer. In the past week, two emergency water faucets have been installed for handwashing. Showers can only be used 4 to 6 hours a day, as a result of which, many prisoners do not get a chance to use the showers for between 2 to 5 months. Prisoners can only use hot water after 12 midnight. Water pressure is also not sufficient, and it is not possible to supply the Prison with adequate amounts of hot water due to persistent problems between the Prison authorities and the Shahriar region Municipality. As the weather has gotten warmer since last week, some days the Prison’s water supply is available for only 2 hours and the water is completely shut off most of the time.

Furthermore, the number of Prisoners infected with the Corona virus at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary is on the rise. 52 prisoners at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary’s Wing 1 have fallen ill with COVID-19. Additionally, a prisoner at the Prison’s Wing 5, Hall 4, has been vomiting blood and showing symptoms similar to those of the Corona virus.

The overcrowding in the Penitentiary has resulted in the spread of contagious illnesses like COVID-19.

The return of prisoners from leave without spending time in quarantine is among the most significant reasons for the spread of the Corona virus in prisons all across the country, and especially in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.

HRANA had previously addressed the health and hygiene conditions at this Prison in a comprehensive report. There is an infirmary in each wing of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, but the prisoners are deprived of access to a doctor or a nurse most of the day, and only a single prisoner (with or without any specialty) has been selected as the person in charge of the infirmary. Every few days, three prisoners are chosen from among individuals in a twenty-person cell to go to the infirmary, and even these people, [as few in numbers as they are], get minimal examination by the doctor or the nurse and are simply given a pill by the person in charge of the infirmary before they are taken back to the ward.

Prisoners suffering from illnesses such as HIV and Hepatitis are kept in a separate cell in Wards 1 and 2 of Wing 2, without being given any special privileges or facilities, especially during the spread of the Corona virus, and they use the same toilets and showers as the rest of the prison population. This can put these individuals’ lives at greater risk compared to other prisoners.