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Payvand Iran News ...
04/24/14 Bookmark and Share
Iran Replaces Prisons Chief After Protests

Source: RFE/RL

Iran has appointed a new chief of prisons following protests by family members over reports that inmates had been abused at a notorious jail. The official Islamic Republic News Agency said on April 23 that Asghar Jahangir would replace Gholamhossein Esmaili.


Iran's notorious Evin Prison (file photo)

Jahangir is described as a close adviser to Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, a cleric and the head of the government's judiciary branch.

Former chief Esmaili was appointed the new head of the Tehran Justice Department.

The families of men incarcerated in Evin prison in Tehran have protested twice this week, outside parliament and near President Hassan Rohani's office.

The demonstrations came after reports emerged that inmates in Section 350, where prisoners accused of political crimes are held, were beaten, including some who needed hospitalization.

Taghi Rahmani, a well-known Iranian political analyst, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Esmaili's dismissal appears to be a "tactical move" by authorities to end the controversy over the alleged violence.

"It is, in a way, a retreat," Rahmani said. "It is a signal to a part of the society to rejoice over the replacement of the head of prisons organization. But it can be compensated [by authorities] with a new attack."

He added: "I think the policy of the establishment is to blame the victims."

Authorities have denied allegations that prison guards may have committed assault.

Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi has said that guards were conducting a routine prison inspection when the alleged abuse occurred.

He claimed that only two prisoners suffered minor injuries.

Esmaili, the dismissed prison chief, has also rejected reports about the alleged attack, describing them as fabrications.


Related Story: Iranian Activists Shave Heads To Support Political Prisoners

Speaking on April 23, the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Larijani, said there had been no wrongdoing during the prison inspection.

He said Iran's enemies are using the issue as an excuse to revive "the sedition."

This is a term used by Iranian officials to refer to the antigovernment protests of 2009 and the subsequent crackdown by security forces on the opposition movement.

Paris-based Iranian political analyst Reza Alijani told RFE/RL that while Iran has been showing flexibility recently in its international ties, repression at home continues.

"It is often the case in Iran that heroic flexibility on the international scene is accompanied by a ruthless repression at home," Alijani said.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda, irna.ir and AP


Copyright (c) 2014 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org



Related Articles:

 

Head of Iranian Judiciary says no rules broken during Evin incident

- Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the head of Iran's Judiciary, says that no violations occurred during an incident in Ward 350 of Evin Prison and he slammed "seditious efforts at creating adverse publicity." 4/24/14

Iranian Activists Shave Heads To Support Political Prisoners

- Dozens of Iranian men and women have sheared their hair and posted their pictures online to demonstrate solidarity with political prisoners. The campaign was launched following reports that prison guards had shaved the heads of some political prisoners in Tehran's notorious Evin prison in order to humiliate them after some inmates were reportedly beaten up during an inspection of the facility last week. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 4/24/14

Iran: Rouhani's Silence on Brutal Prison Attack Unacceptable

- A week after a violent raid by prison officials at Iran's notorious Evin Prison led to the beating, injury, and solitary confinement of many political prisoners, Iranian Judiciary officials continue to deny any use of violence while vivid testimonies from the families of the prisoners indicate otherwise. - 4/23/14

Families Of Iranian Political Prisoners Protest Alleged Prison Raid

- Families of political prisoners demonstrated outside the presidential office in Tehran on April 22 to protest what they say was a brutal raid at a notorious prison in the Iranian capital where their relatives are being held. The protesters say several of their loved ones were badly beaten by security forces in the April 17 operation at Evin prison and called on authorities to investigate the incident. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/23/14

Emad Bahavar: "My Body Aches"

- Iranian political prisoner Emad Bahavar describes the severe beatings suffered by him and other prisoners at Tehran's Evin prison when the security personnel and plainclothes officers stormed Ward 350 of the prison on April 17th. -Kaleme (in Persian) - 4/22/14

Iran Disputes Reports of Violent Crackdown in Prison's Political Detainee Block

- Iran's penal authorities sought on Monday to discredit reports of a violent clash last week inside the political detainee block in Tehran's Evin Prison, calling them fabrications fomented by enemies of the government. -NY Times - 4/22/14

Iranian Political Prisoners Call For Investigation Of Beatings At Evin Prison

- As controversy over the alleged attack on political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison deepens, 74 prisoners have written a letter of complaint urging the Tehran Prosecutor to investigate the matter. The Kaleme opposition website, which first reported on the alleged attack, has now published the prisoners' letter of complaint along with the names of the wounded and details of the incident. - 4/21/14

Security Forces Storm Tehran's Evin Prison

- Dozens of Iranian security forces have stormed a section of Tehran's Evin prison where political prisoners are held, injuring a number of the detainees. Some 30 prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement following the raid on April 17. - 4/18/14

 

... Payvand News - 04/24/14 ... --



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