Concern Increases about Political Prisoner Zahra Safaei’s Condition Following her Transfer to Unknown Location

On Saturday, September 4, political prisoner Zahra Safaei was transferred from prison to an unknown location following a heart attack.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Safaei was being held in Qarchak Prison in Varamin until  her transfer.

Neglect of Ms. Safaei’s condition, especially after her recent heart attack and poor physical condition, has raised concerns among her family. She had also been transferred to Sattari Hospital in Qarchak last week on the order of a prison doctor but was returned to prison without medical treatment.

Ms. Safaei was summoned in July 2020 and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin the next day since she was not able to provide the required bail of ten billion tomans.

In January of this year, Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mohammad Mehdi Shahmirzadi, sentenced Ms. Safaei to 5 years in prison on a charge of “propaganda activities against the national security”, one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, and 2 years in prison on the charge of “insulting the leadership and founder of the Islamic Republic”.

She was also sentenced to a ban from leaving the country and from joining political parties and social groups.

Zahra Safaei has a history of arrest. She spent time in prison as a social-political activist in the 1980s. Her father was executed in the 1980s for supporting MEK.

Safaei’s location and fate are unknown as of this writing.

“There Are Other Tortures that are not Recorded on Camera”: Political Prisoners in Evin Prison Give Statement on Released Footage

Following the broadcast of videos from Evin Prison surveillance cameras, a group of political prisoners in Andarzagah 8 of Evin Prison have written a statement in response.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the statement calls for serious and immediate attention to the situation of prisoners in Iran.

“There are other tortures that are not recorded on any camera,” the prisoners write in the statement. “The psychological and mental torture of prisoners in solitary confinement (white torture) and interrogation rooms; fathers, mothers, wives, and children who become more tired of pursuing cases of their loved ones in the maze of [judiciary and prisons] offices every day without seeing their loved ones, and lack of accountability of officials and their humiliating behaviors with the prisoner and their families are noteworthy.”

Recently elected head of the judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i , has ordered an immediate investigation into the officers’ treatment of prisoners following the release of the video by the hacker group Adalat Ali.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the speaker of the parliament, in response to the request of the representatives to deal with the publishers of these videos, said that a Commission, with the collaboration of the prosecutor’s office is following up the whole issue.

Whether the investigation will lead to meaningful reform or increased accountability remains to be seen.

Improper Management and Distribution of Food Rations in Urmia Prison Leave 1 Dead and 16 Injured

On Wednesday, July 14th, following the improper distribution of food rations by the authorities of Urmia Prison, a clash broke out between prisoners.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, one prisoner was killed and 16 others were injured during the altercation.

The identity of the murdered prisoner has been verified by HRANA as Karim Babaei.

An informed source told HRANA about the incident,“The date ration has been unequally distributed and has not reached many prisoners, which has led to physical clashes between prisoners.”

During the clash, Karim Babaei was hit in the head and lost his life. Another prisoner was stabbed and 15 others suffered burns from hot water.

The poor economic conditions of prisoners and their families outside the prison, especially in recent years, have led to the inability of many prisoners to pay for their expenses.

The quality and quantity of food rations has been an ongoing issue for inmates of Urmia Prison.

Lakan Prison Officials Turn off Air Conditioning in Women’s Ward and Cut Inmates’ Quarantines Short

Following the transfer of 9 new female prisoners to the quarantine ward of Lakan Prison in Rasht, 15 residents of the quarantine ward were transferred to the public ward before the end of their quarantine period.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, air conditioning in the women’s ward was also turned off for at least 8 hours during the day. The lack of air conditioning, coupled with steadily rising summer temperatures have created conditions under which it is nearly impossible for the inmates to wear masks.

According to an informed source, after protesting, prisoners were told that they would be sent directly to public wards without quarantine, even if other new entrances arrived.

It is worth mentioning that civil activist Athena Daemi, who was deported from Evin Prison to Lakan on March 17, 2010, was kept in quarantine for 23 days.

Political Prisoner Shakila Monfared Beaten by Inmates in Qarchak Prison

On Monday, June 7, political prisoner Shakila Monfared was beaten by several prisoners in Qarchak Prison in Varamin after being held in a section that houses prisoners of violent crimes–a violation of the UN principle of separation of prisoners based on crime.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, per an informed source, several prisoners of disparate crimes severely insulted and beat Monfared with the sharp lid of a can of tuna after the instigation of a member of prison staff.

This is yet another case of the widespread practice of Iranian prison officials punitively orchestrating situations in which inmates sentenced for violent crimes assault political prisoners–particularly in women’s wards. This allows the prisons to effectively impose physical assault as punishment without officially claiming responsibility for the damage.

In January of this year, the joint court trial of Shakila Monfared, Arsham Rezaei, and Mohammad Abolhassani was held in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari. 27-year-old Monfared was sentenced to 6 years in prison and 4 months of probation work in the Agricultural Jihad on charges of “propaganda activities against the system and insulting the sanctities of Islam”.

Monfared was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents after the court hearing and was transferred to Bushehr prison. Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals later reduced the sentence to 4 years and two months in prison. She had previously been transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin from Bushehr Prison on May 12.

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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. Continue reading “Prisoners ordered to pay for eavesdropping equipment”