In early 2011 the name of the Qarchak Prison (Shahr Ray Prison) was mentioned in the media as a women’s prison. The transfer of all female prisoners with non-political crimes from Evin and Rajaie Shahr Prisons to this prison in Shahr Ray raised a wave of protests because of the dire conditions in this prison. The names of some female political prisoners were among those to be transferred.
These days the transfer of female political prisoners and prisoners of conscience to this prison has increased. According to eyewitness accounts and prisoners of Qarchak Prison, this facility lacks minimum hygienic and recreational facilities.
Qarchak Prison in Varamin consists of a number of chicken silos with intolerable
conditions. This prison is in fact just a large silo with a high ceiling. More than 2,000 women are held in this prison without minimum hygienic facilities in the winter cold and summer heat.
Dangerous criminals are not separated from political prisoners in this prison. Prisoners in Qarchak Prison are denied hot water. Every 80 prisoners have just one small refrigerator.
The prisoners’ potable and bathing water is salty and they are forced to purchase mineral water. The prison lacks a library and prisoners, especially the small number of political prisoners, don’t have access to newspapers.
Transfer to Qarchak Prison in Varamin is one of the threats used by judiciary officials, Tehran’s prosecution office and Evin Prison officials to put pressure on female political prisoners. In many cases the threats are realized.