In recent weeks every day bad news about political prisoners is being heard from Evin prison. From the overcrowded small prison cells to the lack of nutritious foods, medication and hygiene and also the hot weather and lack of proper ventilation and cooling facilities have added to the suffering of prisoners. Tolerating more than one year of prison in these harsh conditions has caused extreme weakness and all kinds of diseases for political prisoners. Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, issued a statement regarding the critical situation of political prisoners in notorious Evin prison.
The full text of Zahra Rahnavard’s statement is as follows:
Today the prisons should be proud to have become the resident of the noble and pure individuals who only seek freedom, democracy, justice and affluence of human and have no concern but the prosperity of the nation; today the prisons are hosts of scientific elite, students, professors, journalists, winner of scientific Olympiads, and defenders of human rights, great figures that government and the involved agencies by themselves must honor them with human rights awards instead of imprisoning them.
Now I give a list of brutalities against the prisoners and warn the ruling powers that you yourselves have family, sisters, mothers, fathers, children and brothers, what you don’t want for yourselves, don’t want for these brave sons and daughters of the nation; free the [political] prisoners and until their release is being processed eliminate the hardships that is being imposed on them. I point out to few of these brutalities that are being committed against the prisoners, the issues that the families of political prisoners are concerned about them:
1. According to the constitution, following the arrest of any individual the reason of the arrest must be announced to him/her and his/her family and the whereabouts and the situation of the prisoner must become known to the family.
2. According to the law the suspect must be notified of the charges within 48 hours after the arrest but the reports show that this procedure is not being followed for many prisoners.
3. Not specifying the place of detention and not giving information about the situation of prisoner to his/her family are in fact torture and psychological pressure on the prisoner which is being applied in case of some detainees.
4. During the interrogations the connection between the defendant and the family is completely cut off which causes lots of psychological and mental pressure for the defendant and the family and raises concerns about the health conditions of the defendant and especially about the interrogation techniques.
5. The poor conditions have turned the prison to a hospital without nurses and physicians. These days bad news is being heard from the Evin prison especially Ward 350. Most of the dear [political] prisoners are suffering from diseases or extreme physical weakness, because the quality of prison food is very poor and they are not given any fruits and vegetables. It is inevitable that these dear [political] prisoners who have been denied nutritious foods, fruits and vegetables become extremely weak and consequently sick.
6. Limiting political prisoners’ access to meet with their families such as banning personal visits or even guarded visits and reducing the number of times the political prisoners’ can make phone calls have increased stress on the political prisoners and their families. For a twenty minute visit, families of the political prisoners have to tolerate the suffer of going back and forth to the office of the prosecutor of Tehran and visit the office several times and deal with the bureaucratic system to get visitation permission from the prosecutor of Tehran. Why doesn’t the prosecutor of Tehran allow the political prisoners to have regular visits with their loved ones based on the prisons internal regulations?
7. Rajaee Shahr prison is one the most horrifying prisons out of the families’ reach that its extremely bad conditions put extra pressure on the political prisoners, which many of them have been sent there without considering the principle of separation of crimes. What is the reason behind exiling these loved ones to Rajaee Shahr prison and for how long this extra oppression on these prisoners and their families is supposed to last?
8. Repeated and irrational re-locations [of the political prisoners] in the prisons are done with the goal to put more pressure on the political prisoners.
9. Repealing temporary releases with no legal justification is another issue that has been putting extra pressure on political prisoners and their families.
10. The process of conditional releases is also not following the legal course. The political prisoners if had no previous convictions, just like other prisoners, after serving half of their sentences should have the possibility for parole to return to their families. This is also not being honored for many of the political prisoners.