Iran’s clerical regime ramps up violence against women in prisons
Brutalizing political prisoners, abrupt relocations and detaining women in prison without holding their trials are systematic examples. The regime also continued to summon civil activists and issue long-term prison sentences for them.
The clerical regime also executed two women in the month of December.
Anti-riot guards raid female political prisoners in Qarchak Prison
Qarchak Prison authorities accompanied by some 20 male and female guards entered Ward 8 on Sunday, December 13, 2020. They brutalized political prisoners in this ward by batons and stun guns. Samira Ilkhani, Khoshraftar, Karami and Qaregozlou were among the female guards who accompanied Soghra Khodadadi, the new warden of Qarchak Prison, in this attack.
During this raid, prisoners in other wards banged on the walls and chanted “death to the dictator” in solidarity with the political prisoners in Ward 8.
Political prisoner Zahra Safaei was hit in the head by batons. Her forearms were bruised all over.
Parastoo Mo’ini who went to help Golrokh Iraee and her mother, Zahra Safaei, was taken by the hair and dragged on the floor. The guards attempted to take her out of the ward, but other prisoners intervened and freed her from the clutches of the guards. Parastoo Mo’ini was also bruised in both calves. She also feels pain in the chest because of being hit by stun guns.
Prison guards also held political prisoner Forough Taghipour by her hands and feet and threw her from one side of the cell to the other side.
Marzieh Farsi who was sick and under supervision of doctor was also hurt in the chest as a result of guards’ beatings.
Saba Kordafshari was hurt in the teeth, and her shoulder and back are bruised.
Maryam Ebrahimvand was hurt in the left calf and her back was bruised.
The guards who had badly brutalized Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee finally caught her hair and dragged her by force out of the ward to be transferred to Ward 2A of Evin Prison.
Following the attack, the badly injured inmates were abandoned in Ward 8, and no medical care or treatment was provided to them.
The telephones in Ward 8 were disconnected for three days to prevent the news of the attack from leaking out. The prisoners’ families went to visit them in person but they were falsely told that the prisoners did not want to have visitations.
Abrupt relocation of political prisoners
Political prisoners continued to be abruptly moved out of the women’s ward of Evin Prison and transferred to other prisons.
Student activist Sepideh Farhan who had been arrested during the nationwide protests in December 2017-January 2018, was abruptly transferred from Evin to Qarchak Prison on December 5, 2020. On the same day, Mojgan Keshavarz, who is imprisoned for protesting the mandatory hijab, was also transferred from Evin to Qarchak. Prison authorities did not even allow them to take their warm clothes and other necessary items with them.
Sepideh Farhan was serving her two-year sentence in Evin Prison. Mojgan Keshavarz, 38 with a 10-year-old daughter, is serving a prison sentence of 23 years and six months.
Saba Kord Afshari was transferred to Qarchak from Evin on December 9, 2020. She is serving a 24-year sentence for protesting the mandatory hijab.
Kurdish political prisoner Sakineh Parvaneh was moved out of the Prison of Quchan at 10 p.m. Sunday night, December 13, 2020. She was taken to the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of Mashhad, capital of Razavi Khorasan Province in northeastern Iran. Then, on Monday, December 14, she was taken to the quarantine ward of the Central Prison of Mashhad.
She had been relocated from Evin Prison to the Prison of Quchan on October 27, 2020. Ms. Parvaneh received brutal treatment during her detention in Qarchak and Evin prisons. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital several times. During her detention in Quchan Prison, she was deprived of having family visitations.
Zeinab Jalalian pressured to remorse
Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian, sentenced to life in prison, is under psychological pressure to express remorse and cooperate with the Ministry of Intelligence.
Zeinab Jalalian was transferred to the quarantine ward of Yazd Prison in mid-November, for the fourth time in six months. She is deprived of having telephone calls and visits with her family. The only time she was allowed to call her family, she told them that Yazd Prison security had told her that so long as she would not express remorse and collaborate with interrogators, she would be deprived of all rights of a prisoner.
Denial of medical treatment to prisoners
One of the common methods of torture and harassment of political prisoners in Iranian prisons, is depriving them from access to medical care and treatment.
Makkieh Neissi died in Sepidar Prison of Ahvaz due to lack of access to medical treatment.
On Monday night, December 14, Makkieh Neissi was taken to the quarantine ward of Sepidar Prison as she was crying out loud from pain, pleading to be taken to a civic hospital. The prison guards and authorities, however, did not take her to hospital and abandoned her in the ward without attending to her. Consequently, she died on Tuesday morning, December 15.
Makkieh Neissi was among hundreds of Arabs of Ahvaz arbitrarily arrested after an attack on a parade of the regime’s armed forces in Ahvaz on September 22, 2018.
The authorities of Kachuii Prison, in Karaj, failed to take action regarding an urgent test for Monireh Arabshahi who has difficulty breathing because of the swelling of her throat. On December 13, 2020, a specialist doctor in Kachuii Prison ordered a test for Monireh Arabshahi to be done within 48 hours. This test was not done at least for five days. Monireh Arabshahi needs to have her thyroid gland scanned and undergo surgery according to doctor’s diagnosis.
Monireh Arabshahi and her daughter, Yasaman Aryani, are imprisoned for opposing the mandatory veil. They are serving their sentence of 5 years and six months.
Yasaman Ayrani has tested positive for the COVID-19. She has been isolated and abandoned along with five other inmates without receiving medical care.
This mother and daughter are deprived of going on leave because Evin Prison authorities have not transferred their files from Evin to Kachuii Prison.
In the wake of the relocation of Saba Kord Afshari from Evin to Qarchak Prison, her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi suffered various illnesses due to nervous pressure. She has been deprived of medical treatment. According to a report from Evin Prison on December 13, Ms. Ahmadi needs a walker to walk. She has also suffered rupture of disc. The doctor in the dispensary of Evin Prison says her inability to move is due to nervous pressure on her. She must be visited by a specialist doctor for brain and nervous system.
Somayyeh Kargar urgently needs her medications because of a rare eye disease. She is incarcerated in Ward 209 of Evin Prison. Her eyesight is seriously at risk and she is in need of others’ help to do her daily work. Nevertheless, prison guards prevent her from having access to her medicines. Somayyeh Kargar is a Kurdish citizen coming from Ilam. She is a graduate student of philosophy from the University of Tabriz.
The Department of Intelligence of Ahvaz is preventing political prisoner Nejat Anvar Hamidi Karoun, 62, from going on medical leave despite her dire physical condition. She suffers from thyroid malfunction, hypertension, high blood lipids, eye problems and is at risk of losing her eyesight. She has been imprisoned for two years without one day of leave for medical treatment, despite her various serious illnesses.
Political prisoner Nejat Anvar Hamidi Karoun had been previously arrested and detained for 2 years and 4 months in the 1980s for supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). She has been imprisoned in Sepidar Prison since 2018 to serve her 15-year sentence.
Imprisoned nurse, Bahareh Soleimani is also deprived of medical care. She has been detained for two months in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison without standing trial. This imprisoned nurse was in contact with coronavirus infected patients for 10 months. Because of this, she has been badly hurt in the lungs and needs urgent medical treatment.
Retired teacher Massoumeh Asgari was deprived of the right to conditional release despite certification on December 20, 2020, that she could not remain in prison because of her illnesses. She is serving a five-year sentence in Evin Prison.
She is a single mother with a 15-year-old son. She was arrested for participating in a teachers’ protest in August 2018. She suffers from various mental and physical illnesses.
Ms. Asgari recently had an accident where she broke her leg at 8 points. She cannot walk on her own and uses a walker and wheelchair.
A mother’s request to be released with electronic leg tag turned down
The Prosecutor of Bukan turned down the request by Fatemeh Davand to be released with an electronic leg tag. Fatemeh Davand is serving her sentence in the Central Prison of Urmia and the prison authorities had agreed with her request to be freed with an electronic leg tag.
Mrs. Davand, 42, and mother of three children, was arrested on November 16, 2019, during the protests in her hometown of Bukan against gasoline price hike. She is sentenced to 3 years and 9 months and 30 lashes.
The clerical regime’s Judiciary does not consider alternative punishments for women who have children.
Low quality of food in the women’s ward of Urmia Prison
Women incarcerated in the women’s ward of the Central Prison of Urmia complained several times to the prison authorities about the low quality of food. Meat has been completely removed from their food. Prisoners are forced to spend their own money and prepare food without having any resources. Many prisoners have become sick because of lack of hygiene and the necessary facilities for cooking food in prison.
Female civil activists summoned and sentenced
The Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz sentenced cultural activist Sahba Hemadi to 7 years in prison on December 30, 2020. She was readily taken to the Sepidar Prison of Ahvaz. Mrs. Hemadi was only 20 and seven months pregnant when arrested in 2018. She has two children. She was given electric shocks under interrogation. Burn scars were evident on her arms.
Two women’s rights activists, Najmeh Vahedi and Hoda Amid, were sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. They are also banned from participating in social activities.
The First Branch of the Unit Implementing the Verdicts at Evin Courthouse summoned Vice President of the Free Union of Iranian Workers Parvin Mohammadi on December 20, 2020.
Maryam Mehrabi was summoned on the phone by the Department of Intelligence of Kermanshah on December 9, 2020. She was questioned about the activities of one of her relatives abroad.
Detention of civil activists
Security forces continued to arbitrarily arrest female activists during December. Some of them are listed below: