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Iran: Brutal Raid by Guards of Urmia Central Prison on Political Prisoners


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On the morning of Wednesday, February 28, the guards of Urmia Prison, acting on the orders of the prison warden, Peyman Khanzadeh, stormed the cells of political prisoners. In this savage raid, with the presence of Yahya Soltani, the head of the political prisoners ward, they subjected several inmates to beatings and destroyed their personal belongings, which they had procured at their own expense. In protest against this assault, two prisoners set fire to their blankets inside the cells, who were brutally beaten by the officers.

Urmia Prison, notorious for its high number of executions, torture, and mistreatment of inmates, stands out as one of the most terrifying prisons under the regime. The assault on political prisoners follows a joint statement issued by 800 inmates last week, condemning the criminal actions of Peyman Khanzadeh. The barbaric conduct of the prison guards has tragically resulted in the suicides of some inmates. Khanzadeh also inflicts harassment and torment on the families of the prisoners.

On the evening of Sunday, February 25, Shahin Galehdari, a Kurdish political prisoner, suspiciously lost his life in Urmia Prison, with the prison authorities claiming it to be a suicide. In January of this year, another prisoner named Amir Shahbazi committed suicide in Urmia Prison and wrote in a letter to his family that the prison warden was the reason behind his decision.

The Iranian Resistance, while condemning the brutal attack on Urmia Prison, calls for immediate action by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran to save the lives of political prisoners. It emphasizes once again the necessity of an international fact-finding mission to visit Iranian prisons and meets with the prisoners, especially political prisoners.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

29 February 2024