A Dismal Prison: a Brief Report on Conditions at Dezful

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – The gnawing pang of hunger, the festering of dirty sores, and the dread of what might happen if you look at the warden sideways. For the 1,300 people currently detained in Dezful Prison, these are private, everyday torments to which authorities there are less than sympathetic.

Indeed, one of Dezful’s most darkly effective forms of punishment, a former prison functionary told HRANA, is an administration seemingly devoid of humanity. “A while ago, Mr. Postchi, the general manager of the Khuzestan Province Prison system, came in for inspection,” the functionary said. His response to the complaints of malnourished prisoners about the deplorable sleeping conditions? “He told the prisoners, ‘You’re wearing out the beds with how much you eat and sleep.’”

The cruel irony of the system manager’s comments could not be lost on prisoners’ family members, who expressed distress at the nutritional deficits of the Dezful canteen. “For a period of one week, rice was omitted from their diet, and during that time they didn’t even have bread to eat,” one family member said. A former Dezful prisoner elaborated, “the prison food is very low-quality, and the prison store doesn’t even stock bread that the prisoners can buy themselves to stave off their hunger.”

Currently populated at a few hundred inmates above its maximum capacity, Dezful lacks more than adequate food stores. Without a medical professional on site, it packs the medical consultations of its 1300 prisoners into half-hour windows every two days in which medical professionals swing by the prison. Hygienically, conditions are ripe for disease: each ward houses 300 people for every five showers and six toilets, and when night falls ward floors are crowded with the sleeping bodies of those who weren’t lucky enough to get a bed.

According to eyewitness reports, one rare vestige of prisoner autonomy is their power to appease, as best they can, those who have authority to make their bad conditions worse. “No one dares complain in this prison,” the former Dezful prisoner related to HRANA, revealing that the sense of humanity in Ward 6 was particularly tenuous. “If a prisoner disagrees with Ward’s internal administrator [Mr. Daneshyar], he will be beaten by prisoners, who are goaded by the administrator […] then the prisoner will be moved, on Daneshyar’s orders, to another Ward.”

Still, prisoner’s control over their day-to-day fate is ultimately limited: beatings ordered on prisoners because of their legal charges, or even their general disposition, are reportedly routine.

These conditions have driven so many to self-harm that authorities have removed the bathroom mirrors, making shaving difficult, the former inmate said; one more mundane task of self-care that from within the walls of Dezful seems a faraway luxury.

Dezful Prison has nine wards. It is located in Khuzestan Province on the outskirts of Dezful. The current head of the prison is Mr. Azadeh, and his deputy is Mr. Noghrehchi.

Young Urmia Prisoner Suffers TBI in Beating from Prison Warden

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- After a beating from internal prison director Bayramzadeh left him with a concussion, Javad Shirzad (a.k.a Arash), a prisoner in Urmia Central Prison’s youth ward, was transferred to an outside hospital for treatment.

An informed source told HRANA that Shirzad, who is in the fifth year of his sentence, went to another prisoner’s cell to say hi when Bayramzadeh began assaulting him.

According to the source, Shirzad was transferred on September 11th to an outside care facility where a battery of tests including an electroencephalogram (EEG) led to a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury. “He is still under supervision per the doctor’s orders,” the source said.

Prison officials have a long history of mistreating and assaulting prisoners with impunity. This past May, former IRGC 3rd Lieutenant Saeed Nouri reportedly sustained a beating by two prison guards inside the office of the prison’s internal director; and in July, a warden assaulted Saeed Seyyed Abbasi for arriving late to the prison yard for recreation time. Despite Abbasi’s injuries, he was subsequently transferred to solitary confinement without receiving any medical attention.

Suspicious death and shortage of bread in Rajai-Shahr Prison

HRANA News Agency – A 25-year-old prisoner, Payam Islami, was found dead while locked up in solitary confinement equipped with closed-circuit cameras.  He was beaten and transferred to solitary confinement after brawling with another prisoner over a piece of bread.  There has been a severe shortage of bread in Rajai-Shar Prison in recent months.
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