WASHINGTON, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC) is disturbed by reports that political prisoners in Evin & Ghazal Hessar Prisons in Iran were attacked in a raid directed by Iranian Ministry of Intelligence during which agents savagely beat and tortured defenseless prisoners. This incident is the latest example of Iran's perpetual war on human rights undertaken with the specific intent to terrorize/intimidate the public and the imprisoned political dissidents.
A statement by Amnesty International about the raid stated that, "On the morning of 17 April Ministry of Intelligence officials, along with about 100 guards dressed in riot gear reportedly entered Section 350 of Evin Prison, possibly to conduct a search…At least four of the injured prisoners have been transferred to a hospital outside of the prison."
Dozens of prisoners were transferred from the ward to solitary confinement. A number of prisoners in the ward have gone on hunger strike. Families of political prisoners protested the attack and have since gathered outside Evin prison to demand answers.
Such mistreatment of defenseless prisoners is indicative of the desperation and erratic hate the Iranian regime has directed towards dissidents. These acts illustrate the desperate state of a dying regime that cannot tolerate any form of dissent or resistance, including from those living in the dungeons of its most notorious prisons.
It is also one more example of the realities of life in Iran under its supposedly "moderate" President, Hassan Rouhani. Far from easing restrictions on dissidents, Rouhani's administration has doubled down on repression and brutality against those who seek true change.
Iran not only leads the world in per capita executions, but continues to deny prisoners due process. The March 2014 report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran noted, for example that, "Although the prison system in the Islamic Republic of Iran has an official capacity of 113,000, in 2010 there were more than 204,000 inmates, an occupancy rate of 192 per cent, namely, nearly twice its maximum physical capacity."
OIAC condemns this barbaric raid against political prisoners and calls for the international community to stand in solidarity with Iranian political prisoners. Iran's actions are in clear violation of international humanitarian law and should not be ignored or tolerated (willingly or unwittingly) either to accommodate or negotiate with Iran's illegitimate rulers.
Interview with former Iranian political prisoner Mostafa Naderi