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04/25/14 Bookmark and Share
Iran Lawmakers Demand Probe of Alleged Beatings of Political Prisoners

Source: VOA

Several moderate Iranian lawmakers have demanded a probe into alleged beatings of several political prisoners held at Tehran's Evin prison, Iran’s official news media reported. The demand comes after foreign media last week reported that more than 30 detainees in Ward 350 at the prison were allegedly beaten, several of them seriously, during a snap inspection on April 17.


Evin Ward 350
(cartoon by Touka Neyestani, Iran Wire)

Iranian judiciary officials continue to deny any use of violence, despite testimonies from the families of the prisoners.

Gholam Hossein Esmaili, the head of Iran’s state prisons, called the foreign media reports propaganda against the Islamic republic.

Asked about injuries suffered by the prisoners, Esmaili said, "We don't intend to respond to the allegations made by opposition websites that spread lies against the regime," the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.

On Tuesday, Iranian State Television broadcast a 10-minute report, lambasting Voice of America’s Persian service and BBC Persian Television for their coverage of the raid on the political prisoners in Evin prison.

Families of the inmates protested the alleged abuse outside the presidential palace earlier this week, eventually meeting with a presidential adviser to discuss their concerns.

By Wednesday, Esmaili was removed from his prison post. He was promoted and will head Iran’s judiciary department, the Associated Press reported.

The Guardian reported on its website that more than 30 inmates held in Evin's Ward 350 were beaten April 17.

Some suffered skull fractures, broken ribs, wounds and swelling on their bodies after guards and intelligence officials forced the prisoners to run through a gauntlet as they beat them with batons, according to opposition sources.

Voice of America’s Persian service heard from several prisoners’ family members.

Mohammad Shojaei’s sister said she saw her brother during a regular visit at the prison on Monday. “There were several wounds and bruises on his body,” she said. “He told me that officers handcuffed his hands behind his back and beat him.”

Inmate Amir Eslami’s wife said that when she saw her husband at the prison, she could tell he had been beaten. Eslami told her: “We are in good condition, so we are allowed to visit our family. But others who (were) beaten heavily are in solitary cells.”

Eslami’s wife said she told her husband to report his injuries to the prison medical office. But he told her that if he were to report his injuries, officials would send him to solitary.

Inmate Hossein Ronagi’s father said, "Our sons are not safe there. ... They threaten us to be quiet. How can I become silent when there is no safety for my son and I?"

The wife of inmate Atefeh Khalafi said, "Our prisoners are innocent. Everybody knows they were arrested after 2009 election and without a fair trial and ... sentenced to years. Now, we expect respect from officials and also new government."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who promised to usher in change, including better treatment of political prisoners, had not yet commented on Thursday about the alleged incident last week.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said at least seven Iranian journalists were among those beaten. CPJ stated: “We call on the Iranian government to hold to account those involved in the attack and to ensure that all the journalists receive appropriate medical care.”

In a BBC report, human rights activists have accused the Iranian authorities of regularly subjecting prisoners, especially those convicted on politically motivated charges, to abuse and of depriving them of medical treatment.

Seven political prisoners are thought to have died as a result of torture, ill-treatment, or medical neglect since 2009, when millions protested after the disputed re-election of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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

Iran Replaces Prisons Chief After Protests

- 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. 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 - 04/25/14 ... --



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