Zahedan Central Prison: 6 Untimely Deaths in 7 Months

Posted on: October 31st, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A 50-year-old man died within a day of his arrival to Zahedan Central Prison on October 27th due to untreated gastrointestinal issues.

He was reportedly suffering from severe diarrhea when he was transferred from quarantine to Ward 6. He received no medical care and died later that night.

HRANA is in the process of confirming the identity of this prisoner, the sixth in the past seven months to die in the custody of authorities at Zahedan Central Prison.

Despite a dearth of medical staff, supplies, and equipment, Zahedan Central has been reluctant to transfer prisoners to outside hospitals, even when that transfer is a matter of life or death.

[Counting from March 2018, the Iranian New Year], this deceased prisoner was preceded in death by the following five Zahedan inmates:

· Abdolnabi Saresi, died September 28th of an untreated illness
· Gholamreza Goul of Ward 6, died September 15
· Ramin Dokaleh of Ward 1, died May 31st
· Gholam Nab Reigi of Ward 5, died May 29th
· Nasir Zoraghi of Ward 8, died in May of untreated cardiac disease

Zahedan is the capital of the Southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan and home to the Baloch ethnic minority.

The Price of Neglect: Prisoner Dies in Zahedan

Posted on: September 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Abdolnabi Saresi, 52, from Afghanistan, was confirmed dead Friday, September 28th after being denied medical care in Zahedan Prison, where he was being held in Section 4.

Saresi had been awaiting trial for two years on financial charges. A close source told HRANA that Saresi was denied medical attention despite his history of diabetes. Staff at the prison clinic urgently recommended a hospital transfer on Thursday, which authorities refused. Authorities have yet to visit the prison since his death.

Deaths due to inadequate medical care are a common occurrence in Iranian prisons. This year, at least five prisoners died of medical neglect in Zahedan Central Prison alone.

HRANA previously reported on numerous cases of prisoners deaths in Zahedan.

State of Mental Health Critical for Zahedan Political Prisoner Held Six Years Without Trial

Posted on: September 23rd, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A hostage of judicial bureaucracy for six years and counting, political prisoner Meysam Chandani, 28, has recently experienced a serious psychological downturn, a close source told HRANA.

“He is suffering from severe psychological illness due to the pressures of incarceration, the living conditions inside, and his legal limbo,” the source said. “He makes noises throughout the day and night, behaves strangely, and has caused problems for his ward mates.”

Currently held in section 4 of Zahedan Prison in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, home to Iran’s Baloch minority, Chandani was arrested six years ago by the Ministry of Intelligence forces of Saravan county and charged with “acting against national security,” “Moharebeh (enmity against God) through armed activities,” and “membership in an opposition group.” Unable to post his 5 billion toman (approximately $1,250,000 USD) bail, he has been waiting on his sentencing–or any updates at all–ever since.

In the meantime, prison officials refuse to attend to his medical needs, which according to eyewitnesses reports are growing more serious by the day.

While prison management has no direct responsibility to nudge the judiciary about lagging case files, they have been slow to address the prison’s dearth of communication channels with the judiciary and its general lack of social aid workers, shortcomings which make the follow-up process too difficult for some prisoners to undertake themselves.

Overpopulation has become a prevailing issue at Zahedan prison, where officials routinely disregard or postpone consideration of prisoner requests for sentencing reduction via part-time sentence schedules, furlough, and conditional pardon.

HRANA has previously reported on general lack of medical treatment in Zahedan Central Prison, based on interviews with eyewitnesses. The prison also hosts many who suffer from legal limbo like Chandani. This is in direct contravention of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights–of which Iran is a signatory–which guarantees arrestees the right to a prompt trial and to be promptly informed of the extent and nature of any charges on which they are being detained.

One Death Row Prisoner Inches Closer to Execution, Another Held in Suspense

Posted on: September 7th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Death Row prisoner Abdolrashid Sandak Zehi was transferred to solitary confinement this morning, September 6, 2018, where he awaits imminent execution.

Sandak waits in General Ward 4 of Zahedan Central Prison, in the provincial capital of Sistan & Baluchestan Province, home to Iran’s Baloch ethnic minority. He had been previously transferred to solitary confinement pending execution on June 18th, 2018, but was able to obtain a three-month reprieve. He was subsequently returned to Ward 4 on June 22nd.

Meanwhile, Zehi’s wardmate Mehdi Sarani, who is also on death row, was sent back to the general ward from solitary confinement after the family of the crime victim did not show up for the scheduled execution.

Numbers published by Amnesty International annual reports indicate that Iran has the highest rate of executions in the world per capita.

End Draws Near for Zahedan Death Row Prisoner

Posted on: September 5th, 2018

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – After 11 years of confinement, a Zahedan prisoner on death row for murder charges has been transferred today, September 5, 2018, to solitary confinement per protocol for detainees whose execution is imminent.

HRANA has confirmed the prisoner’s identity: Mehdi Sarani, 37, of Zabol. He is now in Ward 4 of the Central Prison of Zahedan (capital of the southeastern province of Sistan & Baluchestan and home to Baluchi minority).

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita.

An annual report published by the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) states that more than 60% of executions in Iran are not reported by the state or the Judiciary. These executions are referred to as “secret executions.”

According to registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of HRAI, in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018) at least 322 citizens were executed and 236 others were sentenced to death in Iran. Among these were the executions of four juvenile offenders and 23 public hangings.

Zahedan Death Row Prisoner Now in Custody of the IRGC

Posted on: August 30th, 2018

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Abubakr Rostami, a political prisoner on death row, was transferred from Ward 4 of Zahedan Central Prison to an IRGC detention center on August 28, 2018. To date, HRANA is unable to confirm the reason for his transfer.

A source close to Rostami told HRANA, “A few days ago, prison authorities told Rostami he was not to use the library or gym, then on Tuesday they transferred him outside.”

Rostami was among a group of political prisoners in Zahedan who addressed a letter to UN special rapporteur Javaid Rehman, imploring him to advocate for political prisoners’ rights.

Prior to this, in an open letter co-written by Bandeh Chakerzehi and Sajjad Baluch — the two arrested with him on September 16, 2015– Rostami proclaimed their innocence, stating the IRGC and Intelligence Agency exerted physical and mental torture on them on charges that were “bogus”.

In the letter, Rostami wrote of the trip to Pakistan he was planning in anticipation of making arrangements for continuing his studies [abroad]: “Due to border limitations, I was forced to travel through Pakistan to get to [another] foreign country, but I was arrested midway and handed over to the IRGC,” he wrote.

A second-year medical student at Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Rostami has spent the past three years in prison. In August 2017, along with Chakerzehi and Baluch who were on trial for the same case, he was sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Zahedan on charges of “Moharebeh” (enmity against God) and “Acting Against National Security through Cooperation with Opposition Groups”.

No further details on their case or charges were available.

*Zahedan is a county in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

A Prisoner Committed Suicide In Zahedan Prison

Posted on: April 28th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Vahid Safarzehi, a prisoner in Zahedan Central Prison, attempted suicide by eating razor.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Vahid Safarzehi attempted suicide by eating razor in the Central Prison of Zahedan on Friday, March 2, 2018 and after several times that his requests for furlough had been rejected. (more…)

The Complicated Situation of Zahedan Central Prison Narrated by Witnesses

Posted on: April 4th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Mismanagement in Zahedan Central Prison, administrative corruption and intervention of inviolable institutions in the internal affairs of the prison have led to the creation of a complicated situation in this prison that has its effect on the daily lives of thousands of prisoners. The high level of uncertainty in the prison, the failure to address the specific situation of patients, punishments and physical and mental ill-treatment, poor quality of food products, failure to address detention requests, the presence of bulk drugs in prison and the lack of effective work are a part of the problem of prisoners.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), the statistics are higher than available capacity, for example, the number of residents in ward 7 is 650, while the capacity of the beds is one-fourth of the number. In such a situation, the recent destruction of the two wards of the prison has caused about 300 people be added to other wards of the prison. (more…)

A Political Prisoner in Difficult Health Condition in Zahedan Prison

Posted on: February 14th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Mohammad Azar, political prisoner who had been arrested by the Intelligence Office on charge of acting against national security, and held in solitary confinement for several months and then transferred to Zahedan prison has got infectious diseases in the jaw and mouth area since his detention at the Intelligence Office detention center. The infectious disease has led to his inadequate nutrition, but prison authorities have been indifferent to his health condition.

According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Mohammad Ali Azar, political prisoner at Zahedan Prison, suffers from an infectious disease in the jaw and mouth, while his case status is in an uncertain situation. (more…)

Prisoners of Zahedan Prison Threatened not to Talk to Inspectors

Posted on: February 14th, 2018

HRANA News Agency – Zahedan prison, where there are many political and security detainees, has various problems due to its distance from the central, lack of oversight by the civil society and provincial deprivation, and has witnessed prisoners’ protests and their attempts to reach their voices in recent months aiming improvement in their situation in this prison. Eventually some officials were sent from capital to monitor the prisoners’ situation, but the prison officials threatened some prisoners who are on death raw trying to silence the prisoners, also disconnected the political prisoners’ ward’s telephones.

According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Zahedan Central Prison suffers from mismanagement, poor facilities, and different manner based on the tastes of its officials. (more…)