“None of the female prisoners at Rajaee Shahr Prison are well,” Says Activist’s Father
The father of imprisoned student activist Shabnam Madadzadeh, expressed concern about her condition in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “Shabnam and other political prisoners, none of them are well; they are not well physically or psychologically. They do not have [access to] water, or their water is cold. hey only have one bath. They are among all kinds of women, hooligans, addicts and murderers. This is the situation of my daughter and the rest of the political prisoners,” Abdolali Madadzadeh said. Shabnam Madazadeh is being held in the Women’s Ward of Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj.
“Even if Shabnam is being abused, she won’t tell us anything, but she is certainly being abused because there are all kinds of people there. Is it even conceivable that she is not being abused in the company of female [inmates who are] killers, addicts and thieves beside her!?” said Abdolali Madadzadeh. “The last news I have from her is from a month ago. I have no other news from her, because their telephone has also been cut off. I used to visit her more often before, but I am ill now. The distance is too far, and I am old and sick. I cannot bear the long distance from Tabriz to Karaj any longer. What can I do?” Madadzadeh said.
Shabnam Madadzadeh is Vice President of the Tehran Council of Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat student organization and Political Secretary of the Student Association of Tarbiat Moalem University. She was arrested on 20 February 2009. On 2 June 2010, after being held in Evin Prison for sixteen months, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghisseh, sentenced her to five years in exile at Rajaee Shahr Prison on the charge of cooperating with the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization.
“When they don’t have any water, or when the water is cold, when there is only one bath for a lot of prisoners, how can they take a bath and be clean? The health situation is horrible,” Abdolali Madadzadeh said regarding the unsanitary conditions he observed during his visits.
“The problems are not limited to just one or two. Shabnam has developed heart disease and other illnesses. All female prisoners who are huddled together there do not feel well, everyone has some kind of illness. The prison doctor does not even treat them, and when they ask why, they are told ‘we didn’t bring you here to to pamper you. We brought you here to torture you,’ said Madadzadeh.
Madadzadeh told the Campaign that he witnessed violent behavior from non-political female prisoners during booth visitations with his daughter. “They separate political prisoners from the rest of the prisoners. Two officers huddle all political prisoners in one room, and each of them stands on either side of the room, so no one can talk comfortably. During visits, we do not see our children’s other cellmate,” he said.
About his attempts to improve his daughter’s conditions inside prison he said, “When I went to the prosecutors in Karaj, they explicitly said ‘it is none of our business, and our only duty is to incarcerate them.’ The Tehran Prosecutor also didn’t give us any valid answer. About prison leave requests and telephone contact, they did not give us any answers, either. Now everything is left to God’s grace. There is no other hope.”
Shabnam Madadzadeh’s lawyer, Mohammed Oliaifar, who also represented her brother Farzad Madadzadeh, was sentenced to prison after pursuing their cases. A few days ago, a group of families of female political prisoners at Rajaee Shahr Prison wrote a letter to Tehran’s Prosecutor, asking him to review the situation of their imprisoned relatives.