Iran: Iran just gave foreign delegates a tour around a ‘luxury’ part of one of their most notorious prisons

July 13, 2017


Last week the Iranian authorities arranged a rare international visitto one of the country’s most infamous places of detention – Evin Prison in Tehran.

This visit wasn’t arranged for an international prison expert or a human rights body. It was for representatives of over forty foreign diplomatic missions from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. The UK had a representative there.

The foreign delegates were shown around some limited areas of the prison, and there was a roundtable discussion, held outdoors in a lush garden. There are photos in circulation and you can see various countries’ flags perched on al fresco tables, the Union Jack amongst them. By the standards of diplomatic meetings, it all looks rather idyllic.

Away from these select parts of Evin, things are much bleaker. Research reveals widespread inhumane and unsanitary conditions. There’s chronic overcrowding, severely limited hot water, poor ventilation, and infestations of cockroaches and mice. Prisoners have described being forced to sleep on the floor because of a shortage of beds and being fed “barely edible” meals.

Meanwhile, the delegation was entirely barred from accessing areas of Evin controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence and Revolutionary Guards, where detainees are routinely held in prolonged solitary confinement and tortured. Similarly, they weren’t allowed to see where the dozens of prisoners of conscience are held. This includes building 350, where the prominent human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani and severely-ill human rights activist Arash Sadeghi languish; building 8, which holds human rights activist Omid Alishenas; and the women prisoners’ wing where human rights activists Narges Mohammadi, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and Atena Daemi are serving their sentences. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS)



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