A Brief Report on the Conditions in Qazvin’s Chubindar Prison
The Qazvin Central Prison, also known as Chubindar, located in the vicinity of Chubindar village, is the largest prison in the Qazvin Province. Political prisoners are held here with disregard to the principle of being separated from other convicts on the basis of the crimes committed. Based on the reports received by the Human Rights Activists in Iran News Agency (HRANA), the sanitary conditions in this prison are appalling. In addition to the abysmal condition of the prison lavatories, most prisoners are suffering from inflammation and skin diseases.
Prison officials have often disregarded the prison capacity and have incarcerated a large number of prisoners here, reaching twice or thrice its capacity. As a result, half the prisoners are forced to live on the prison floor. For instance, ward 2 of this prison, which has a capacity of 140 people, now holds more than 330 inmates.
The quality of the food in Chubindar prison is very poor, and, unfortunately, prisoners with limited financial mean have to rely on the food provided by the prison. Because smoking is permitted in wards 2 and 3, the air in those wards is very polluted, and non-smokers, who are confined to the small ward area are deprived of breathing smoke-free air.
The inmates can use kiosks at the recreation area to make phone calls. They have to buy phone cards at the prison store, but the store often runs out of cards. Visitations take place at in designated booths and last only 15 minutes.
This prison is used to house political prisoners who are mostly exiled here from remote areas of the country. They are incarcerated in the midst of inmates held for crimes such as murder, drug offenses, and rape.
According to reports, prison officials and guards’ treatment of inmates is “very bad.” The guards degrade the inmates when they take them to the court or to the prosecutor’s office. Most prisoners do not have access to social workers. There is no social worker for inmates in wards 2 and 3.
Occasionally, secret executions take place in this prison. For instance, in a two-week period in July 2012 seven prisoners, including a father and a son, were executed for possession and transportation of drugs. Of the seven executions only the last two instances have been reported by state media.
Beating of prisoners is commonplace in all wards, and like other prisons in the country, violations of the prison code are frequent.