Political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has spoken about psychological torture because of witnessing the executions of prisoners in Zanjan Prison.
Narges Mohammadi who was the spokeswoman and vice president of the League of Human Rights Defenders in Iran, during a recent visit with her mother, Ms. Ozra Bazargan, told her of the tormenting moments she goes through in prison.
Ms. Bazargan narrated: “Narges said that two days ago, one of her inmates had been hanged after six years on the death row. Execution victims are taken to solitary cell and quarantined 24 hours before their sentence is carried out. And this time period is a terrible psychological torture both for the victim and for her cellmates.”
She added, “Today, Narges sounded sad. Something I had rarely seen in her. She said early morning on May 21, she and several inmates had gone out to the yard to do some exercise, but in the silence of dawn they heard people screaming and sobbing. She said, ‘I stood and listened to the noise. Little children were calling their father. The screams of women echoed inside the prison. They were hanging a man after four years on the death row. From the beginning of carrying out the execution until they brought down the body, the sound of screams and weeping did not stop for a moment.”
Political prisoner Narges Mohammadi told her mother, “In 2012, there were more than 15 death row prisoners in our ward. Despite lifting the death penalty for drug-related convicts, there are still women in this ward who are on death row on charges of murder, adultery, etc. I am terrified by the horrific number of executions carried out in a small city like Zanjan. Our society is wounded and in pain. Prisons are like an open wound showing the depth of pain and suffering of our society.”
Narges Mohammadi added, “In 2012, the Intelligence Ministry interrogator in Ward 209 (of Evin) told me, ‘You claim to be defending women’s rights, so I will send you to a women’s prison to find out for yourself which women you are defending! Although, I have served 10 of my 16 year-sentence for opposing the death penalty, but they were not contented. They sent me to a prison to witness every moment the implementation of the death penalties I oppose and have suffered heavy deprivations and sentences for it.”
Narges Mohammadi, a human rights activist and Vice President of the LEGAM Movement Against Capital Punishment, was sentenced to 16 years in prison. On December 25, 2019, she was forcibly transferred from the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison to Zanjan Prison without being formally charged with any crime.