Prisoner Abuse in Iran Demands International Outcry | Freedom House

Prisoner Abuse in Iran Demands International Outcry

Washington

Freedom House is deeply concerned for the health and safety of sixteen political prisoners in Iran’s infamous Evin prison who are on a hunger strike, and strongly urges members of the international community to join in condemning the maltreatment of political prisoners in Iran and in demanding an immediate end to their solitary confinement.
 
The hunger strike began on July 27 when the prisoners were moved to solitary confinement after complaining about prison conditions including the abusive behavior of prison guards and dirty and unsanitary conditions in Ward 350, the section reserved for prisoners of conscience. The prisoners’ demands include increased space allocated to each prisoner; separating political prisoners from ordinary criminals; and a commitment from the prison to abide by its own rules. The prisoners have not been allowed contact with their families and at least three—Ali  Malihi, Peyman Karami, and Majid Tavakoli—are known to be in poor health.
 
“Iran is notorious for its mistreatment of political prisoners so there is certainly cause for concern, particularly when access to their families and legal counsel has been denied,” said Paula Schriefer, advocacy director at Freedom House. “Without international pressure, it is our fear that conditions will not only remain the same for these courageous men and women, but are likely to get much worse.”
 
A group of family members were reportedly attacked by police when they attempted to demonstrate outside the Tehran prosecutor’s office. Some family members were also told by police that the prisoners faced further mistreatment if the hunger strike continued. The leaders of the Green Movement have only given nominal support to the prisoners, and have asked them to end the hunger strike, while the Islamic Iran Participation Front has called for solidarity with the prisoners.
 
Iran is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2010, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties.
 
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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