Monday, July 26, 2010

Released Iran Student Exposes the Conditions in Iran's Prisons

Iman Sadighi was a student at Babol Industrial university, and active member of the university's Islamic Society. he is banned from continuing his education and served 130 days in Babol prison. He was charged with 'acting against national security and carrying out propaganda against the regime'.

The following are excerpts of his account of what goes on inside Iran's prisons:

'I was arrested in my house, they broke my door, pointed a gun at me and took away all the electronic equipment as well as my personal belongings and documents in my house. I was taken to Babol intelligence ministry and was tied to a metal bar for four hours before I was interrogated. After 10 days of interrogation, I was taken to Babol prison, I was released on bail 17 days later until my trial,which turned out to be a complete show trial, it was obvious the  judge had already made up his mind and sentenced me to 10 months in prison. Once again I was taken to Babol prison.

We were held with dangerous common criminals, prisoners who had committed crimes like murder, kidnapping, rape. There were ten rooms in that wing and each room held 15 prisoners. Fighting amongst prisoners and homosexual acts was a daily occurrence. In one incident two inmates had a fight with each other and one of them bit the other's ear off, then to prove how dangerous he was, he chewed and swallowed the ear.

On another occasion, two prisoners were chained to each other from the legs and brought out in the yard for punishment. One of them had to perform a homosexual act on the other and every time he got tired and stopped, he was beaten on the head and made to continue. Other inmates who were watching just cheered and laughed.

You felt that there was nothing of humanity left inside the prison. At times like this one even hates being a human being. Most of these inmates were so high on drugs, they had become insane, they should have been in mental hospitals and not in prison.

We asked the prison authorities to give a special wing for political detainees, but the prison chief said, 'I don't provide special wing for counter revolutionaries'.

One of our friends, Mohsen Barzegar was attacked by another prisoner while using the phone, he was slashed across the throat, the news leaked out and finally the prison chief agreed to put the political detainees in a special wing. The special wing was a run down place not used to hold prisoners for years. To begin with, we had real problems with the basic hygiene. Our rooms were infested with cockroaches, sometimes the cockroaches would even get in our food. At night, the cockroaches would get into our beds and we would wake up with them crawling over our faces. To add to all this, our blankets were infested with lice and there were rats that came in the cell from time to time. We killed over 180 cockroaches in five days and washed the blankets which I think were last washed 10 years ago, to make life easier, but despite all this, we were better off than what as happening to Mr. Ali Tari, who was Moussavi's campaign manager in Babolsar.

This 51 year old man was kept in a solitary cell, so small it was like one's grave, for seventy two days. There are no toilets in these solitary cells, prisoners are only ever allowed to use the toilets three times a day, many times they can't wait for their turn and they have to do their toilet in the cell, which is why the solitary wing cells reek of excrement stench. This 51 year old man was accused of having sprayed paint over the Supreme Leader's banner and the intelligence ministry agents used to boast about what they had done to Mr. Tari.

During my time in prison, I saw a reformist prisoner, who had served 8 years during the war with Iraq, he had several of his fingers cut off as a result of war injuries, yet despite his glorious war record, he was put in the same hole as the rest of the common criminals. One thing is for certain though, whoever serves in the Islamic Republic's prisons will never forgive this regime ever again.

1 comment:

Waybec said...

Well as the late notable historian Roy Porter once said: 'It's a symbol for man's inhumanity, for callousness and cruelty.' He was talking about Bedlam. And soon the dark age regime will get a real taste of what it means!