Six Inmates at Rajaee Shahr Prison Punished With Solitary Confinement For Going on Hunger Strike
Prisoners Protest Transfer to High-Security Ward Without Medicine or Clothes
More than 50 political prisoners in Rajaee Shahr Prison are in severe distress, with at least six on hunger strike in solitary confinement, after they were moved en masse to a high-security ward without any of their clothes or medicine.
“This is the same ward where about 20 Sunni prisoners lived before they were executed last year,” one of the prisoners’ relatives told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) after a scheduled family visit. “It had been empty until now as work was carried out to beef up the security measures.”
“During the past 10 days, the transferred prisoners have been taken out for fresh air only three times,” said the source, who spoke with CHRI on condition of anonymity. “The moldy air inside does not change because the ward gate is always closed and the small cell windows are covered with thick nets. Access to the prison store has also become very limited.”
Jafar Eghdami, Saeed Masouri, Hassan Sadeghi, Reza Akbari Monfared, Amir Ghaziani and Abolghasem Fouladvand “were taken to solitary confinement for officially announcing their action [hunger strike] on August 9,” said the source.
The informed source added that tensions are high partly because the inmates had not gotten back their personal effects, including medication, that were left behind when they were suddenly moved to Ward 12 from Ward 10 on July 30, 2017.
“The authorities have still not returned the prisoners’ belongings, including television sets, water purifiers, and most important of all their clothes and medicines,” said the source. “This is really bad for some of the prisoners who are sick and need to take medication regularly.”
Political prisoners in Iran are singled out for harsh treatment, which often includes denial of medical care.
“These prisoners are still wearing the same clothes they had on when they were transferred,” said the source. “Many of them came to the visitors’ hall looking ungroomed and wearing only shorts or underwear.”
“That made the families really worried, even though the prisoners tried to keep their spirits up,” added the source. “The prisoners wanted us to contact the prosecutor and the media about what’s happening.”
According to Article 37 of the State Prisons Organization’s regulations, prison authorities “must exercise sufficient care and attention in the safe return of convicts’ personal effects at the time of their release or during transfers.”
CHRI has learned also learned that Ward 10, located on the third floor of Rajaee Shahr Prison, has been equipped with enhanced security gear such as closed-circuit cameras, microphones and jamming devices to block smuggled mobile phones.