Prisoners Out of Solitary Confinement
All the Iranian prisoners taken to solitary confinement in Section 240 of Tehran’s Evin Prison after the 17 April raid, when security officers beat and injured political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, have been transferred back to Section 350.
According to prisoners’ open letters and family members who gained access to the prisoners, on 17 April a large group of security officers, including some in plain clothes and wearing masks, raided the prisoners’ cells in Section 350, which is used to hold political prisoners and prisoner of conscience, and assaulted them, using batons. Nearly 30 prisoners were left with broken bones, cuts and bruises. This took place after the prisoners had peacefully demanded to be allowed to remain present while a regular search operation was conducted which resulted in unwarranted use of force by the security officers. After this, at least 32 prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement in Section 240. A number of the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience of Section 350 and those transferred to solitary confinement in Section 240 launched a hunger strike on 17 April in protest at the ill-treatment of political prisoners by security guards.
Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani was among those who were taken to Section 240. His daughter, Maede Soltani, told Amnesty International that her father had been handcuffed and taken to solitary confinement where his hair was forcibly shaved to humiliate him. He was transferred back to Section 350 on 19 April.
Sa’id Metinpour, a minority rights activist, was also taken to Section 240, and his wife, Atiyeh Taheri, told Amnesty International that he had been handcuffed and hit on his back with batons, forced to strip off his clothes and had his head forcibly shaved. He has since returned to Section 350. Akbar Amini, a political activist was seriously injured. According to the news website Kaleme, which is close to the opposition, during a prison visit on 21 April, he told his family that he had been hit on his head and neck and had lost hearing in his right ear. He was apparently taken briefly to a hospital outside the prison on 19 April, but only for a couple of hours.
By 1 May, all the prisoners held in solitary confinement in Section 240 had been returned to Section 350 and the hunger strike had ended. Those who needed medical care had apparently been transferred to the Evin Prison clinic for treatment. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a labour rights activist,Behzad Arabgol, political activist, Mohammad Amin Hadavi, former prosecutor, and Hootan Dolati, political activist are amongst those who were transferred back to Section 350. The judicial authorities, who have the primary legal responsibility for supervising prisons and penal institutes and conducting an investigation into violations committed by the officials of these bodies, do not appear to have thus far taken any steps to investigate the 17 April prison raid.
For further information see Iran: “Justice is an alien word”: Ill-treatment of political prisoners in Evin Prison, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/023/2014/en.
No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.
This is the first update of UA 94/14. Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/021/2014/en
Names: Abdolfattah Soltani, Sa’id Metinpour, Akbar Amini, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Behzad Arabgol, Mohammad Amin Hadavi, Hootan Dolati
Gender m/f: m