It is no secret that the Iranian regime’s prisons are some of the worst in the world, with catastrophic and unbelievable conditions, condemned many times by international human rights organizations. Prisoners are suffering from psychological and physical pressure in these prisons, some of which were built more than 50 years ago and as a result, the buildings are extremely outdated and a danger to the health of the prisoners.
On August 25, 2021, a report about the situation and torture of prisoners in Iran, said the following, “Methods of torture in Iran documented by Amnesty International over the past years include floggings, electric shocks, mock executions, waterboarding, sexual violence, suspension, force-feeding of chemical substances, and deliberate deprivation of medical care.”
In Iran, people often say that you enter the regime’s prisons as an ordinary prisoner and leave as a criminal or an addict. The next issue, of which there is clear evidence, is the regime’s lies about complying with international human rights norms as the country’s prisons are grossly overcrowded.
Recently, in a series of revelations, the Iranian opposition group, the National Council Resistance of Iran (NCRI), shed light on overcrowding in Iranian prisons. On May 14, in a statement entitled, “The appalling and inhumane situation in the prisons of the clerical regime 100 photos of suppressive prison authorities in 23 provinces,” the NCRI wrote, “For example, as can be seen in the document, the ‘nominal capacity’ of Tabriz Prison is 1,500, but the ‘number of beds’ is 2,660, and the ‘number of prisoners’ is 3,788, which is over 2.5 times the ‘nominal capacity’. In one of the prisons in Sanandaj, the ‘nominal capacity’ is 290, the ‘number of beds’ is 651, and the ‘number of prisoners’ is 978, i.e., 3.37 times the ‘nominal capacity’”.
It added, “In several cases, the regime judiciary document deliberately does not state ‘nominal capacity,’ ‘number of beds,’ or ‘number of prisoners.’ For example, in the Evin and Ghezel Hesar prisons in Tehran, the ‘number of prisoners’ is left empty. The ‘nominal capacity’ of Karaj Prison is also not shown, while the number of beds is 2,150, and the ‘number of prisoners’ is 7,800, which is 3.6 times more than the number of beds. As a result, prisoners struggle with another painful phenomenon called sleep deprivation.”
Following the NCRI’s revelations, the regime’s head of the prison organization, Gholam-Ali Mohammadi, was forced to confess to the catastrophic and inhumane situation in Iran’s prisons in an interview.
The Moderator asked him, “Dr. Mohammadi, what is the current situation of our prisons if we want to have an overview in terms of population density in prisons, what are our conditions now?”
Mohammadi replied, “The density of the criminal population in the prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not at the desired level now. Because in any case, we are facing an increase in the density of the criminal population. Therefore, policies to reduce the criminal population have been approved.”
He added, “That is if we did not face the density of the criminal population, the highest level of decision-making in the system, which is the Expediency Council, would not have approved the policies related to reducing the criminal population of prisons. If we had not faced this density, this issue would not have been addressed in the Judicial Transformation Document.”
Mohammadi further stated, “There are several other prisons, which are typically old and dilapidated in the cities that we could not renovate. In these old prisons, the container (prison) and the population do not fit together. And if we speak about the issue of the criminal population density, our instance for that is those old prisons in which the number of prisoners is much more than their nominal capacity.”
Recently, in an unprecedented and illuminating revelation, the human rights center “No to prison, No to execution (Javanehha) reported about the inhuman conditions in the regime Sheiban Prison. According to this human rights center, the collection of this information has been made possible by the efforts of people from inside Iran, and they are seeking to reveal the names and details of all those who torture prisoners in Iran’s prisons.
The Ahvaz Sheiban Prison, also known as ‘Ahvaz Central Prison’ and ‘Ahvaz Vocational Training Complex’, is located on the 12th kilometer of Ahvaz-Masjed Soleiman Road.
The capacity of Sheiban prison is about 3,200 people. But most of the time, the number of prisoners in this prison is more than its capacity and sometimes it increases up to 4,500 people.