Iran Human RightsIran’s Prisoners, an Epic of Resistance

Iran’s Prisoners, an Epic of Resistance

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Antonio Gramsci, a famous Italian philosopher, journalist, and linguist, once said that if you want to know a regime you should examine the condition of its prisons. Indicated by the state of the Iranian regime’s prisons, it is clear to say that this is one of the most brutal and inhuman regimes in human history. 

Abuse, rape, discrimination, mock executions, sleep deprivation, and prolonged periods of solitary confinement are the norm and the daily life of the prisoners in the regime’s dungeons. For the past four decades, no one has heard the cries of the prisoners. Iran’s prisons are synonymous with political repression and torture. 

Until now, countless political prisoners have lost their lives behind these bars. Anyone who is considered a threat to the regime, including juveniles, is forced to face this nightmare. The worst pressure has been on the women detainees. Over the past decades, the horrors have not changed. 

Since the start of the protests that began after the killing of Mahsa Amini by the regime’s morality police, thousands of young men and women, who took to the streets to pave the path for a free republic through a new revolution, have found themselves detained in the regime’s prisons. 

However, contrary to the regime’s expectations, they have resisted the harsh and inhuman conditions of the prisons and continued their resistance and fight against the regime. On October 15, around 10 pm local time, some political prisoners in Evin prison started to protest the regime, harmonizing their voices with the people on the street. At that time, the regime killed dozens of protesters, and the fate of many of them is still unclear. 

According to the witnesses of the Evin prison fire in October, there was evidence that it had been a planned attack on the prisoners. Taking out the fire extinguishers, blocking the corridors, continuously shooting at the prisoners, throwing tear gas into the wards, and attacks by the special guards, are all facts that the regime had planned an event to eliminate the political prisoners and those who had been arrested during the street protests. 

The fire at Lakan prison in Rasht, where a group of protesters was kept captive leading to the injury and death of many of the prisoners, was also considered to be part of the regime’s plan to eliminate protesters. 

Before these attacks took place, in fear of the people’s reaction regime’s prison officials, increased security measures and restrictions on the prisoners were put in place. Officials increased the number of guards on duty, kept the prison’s anti-riot forces on alert, cut off or reduced airing, cut off contact with families, relocated and hid prisoners in special detention centers, and incited and made excuses for repression, to name but some of the measures that the regime had in place to deal with the prison populations. 

All that has been reported is just the condition of the prisoners that are behind bars in registered locations. Many prisoners are routinely detained in secret prisons of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), along with other unknown institutions. 

The conditions in these prisons are so dire that non-political prisoners are also resisting the regime. On December 17, the prisoners of Karaj Central prison protested the regime. As prison officials took several death row prisoners out of their cells and led them to the gallows to carry out their sentences, the prisoners shouted, ‘Death to Khamenei’ and ‘Death to the dictator’, as they expressed their anger and hatred for the inhumane actions of the regime, despite knowing the consequences of their actions. 

This was not the only example. During the uprising, there were at least five other protests by non-political prisoners, which were heavily repressed by the regime’s forces. 

Rasht’s Lakan Prison, the 7th and 8th Wards of Evin Prison, along with Fashafouyeh Prison and Ghezel Hesar Prison, were just some of the institutions where prisoners confronted the regime. 

Recently, the prisoners of Qaem Shahr protested the transfer of death row prisoners. They are fully aware that the regime’s decision to execute the prisoners is merely a ploy to intimidate the people and stop the protests, and unfortunately, during the demonstration, one of the prisoners lost their lives, while several others were injured. 

The regime has only one goal, and that is to maintain its power at any cost. On the contrary, the Iranian people have only one goal, freedom at any cost. This notion has found its representatives in the regime’s prisons and the people are paying a heavy price to hold the bastion of freedom. 

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