Displaying items by tag: Evin prison
The head of Iran's prison service has apologised after hackers leaked videos showing the abuse of detainees at Tehran's notorious Evin prison. The security footage showed guards beating prisoners and dragging one along a floor. Mohammad Mehdi Haj-Mohammadi said he took responsibility for the ‘unacceptable behaviour’. Many political prisoners and dual and foreign nationals are held at Evin. BBC's Jiyar Gol says the leaked videos confirm decades of reports of mistreatment and abuse at prisons across Iran. Also, former political prisoners say the footage is nothing compared to what they experienced in detention. They accuse authorities of routinely using sexual, physical and psychological torture - a charge Iran's government denies. The hacked screen showed the message, ‘Evin Prison is a stain of shame on Raisi's black turban and white beard’ - a reference to Iran's new president, who is a hardline cleric and former judiciary chief.
On 20 September we prayed for Jolie King, a Cambridge University honours graduate in Middle Eastern studies, and Australian Mark Firkin to be released from a Tehran prison for flying a drone near military installations. On 5 October Australia’s foreign affairs minister said, ‘It is with some enormous relief that I announce that they have been released and returned.’ He said ‘very sensitive’ negotiations with Iran over their release helped ensure they were treated appropriately while detained. Please continue to pray for British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who has been in Evin prison, in solitary confinement, serving a ten-year sentence for espionage. She has no contact from family or friends.
An Iranian writes, ‘My generation is called the “burnt generation”. We had to endure the brutality of the Islamist theocratic regime from the cradle: this meant cruel mass executions, ruthless determination to establish power, imposing barbarous restrictive norms, brainwashing children, and indoctrinating youth with extremist ideology, promoting slogans like “Death to America”.’ The regime, fearing an uprising, sends dissidents to Evin prison, where they are at the mercy of brutal prison guards. Teachers, writers, journalists, students, lawyers, academics, Christians, and anyone perceived to speak out against the regime go to Evin without legal representation. Hygiene there is poor, summer heat reaches 45 Celsius with no air conditioning, water quality is poor, and there are meagre portions of barely edible food. Often outside world contact is forbidden. Human rights activists’ words fall on deaf ears. See also: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11889/iran-history-lessons
The Iranian ministry of intelligence and security photographs demonstrations, so that the police can later arrest leaders who exhibit banners criticising the government. The regime will try to weather this latest round of protests while arresting the main agitators, and then torturing them. At least three demonstrators are believed to have been killed in custody at Evin prison, and human rights activists have raised concerns (one death was reported as a suicide, with no credible evidence to back this up). Many believe executions will come next. By 11 January over a thousand people, including nearly a hundred students, had been arrested. Windows International reports protests growing; but Iran has no press freedom, and is attempting to restrict social media which inform Iranians and the world of developments. Pray for basic human rights to be the outcome of this struggle, and for the exposure of corruption in every aspect of the Iranian government. See also:
Evin is a brutal and infamous prison. Dorothy Parvaz, who was held there in 2011, said detainees face daily cross-examinations, with constantly changing conditions in attempts to trick prisoners to admit to alleged crimes in a psychological battle. In May 2016 we reported on a campaign to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a Christian British charity worker held in Evin prison. A petition was given to David Cameron to act on her behalf for early release. But she was given a five-year sentence for ‘attempting to topple the government’. Now, foreign secretary Boris Johnson has told the House of Commons that she was ‘teaching Iranians journalism’. It was an incorrect statement which could cause Iran to double her five-year sentence. Nazanin suffers depression from being separated from her husband and three-year-old daughter. Boris’s latest blunder has provoked an online petition accusing him of being unfit for the job, lacking attention to detail, a threat to British people, and damaging overseas relations. It calls for his resignation.