On Sunday, March 5, a prisoner was hanged in Maragheh Prison on drug-related charges, despite continued pressure from the international community to stop drug-related charges from being an executable offense. Additionally, minorities within Iran continued to be targeted by security forces. In the town of Saghez, Kurd porters were targeted by the security forces, with a 31-year old man be severely injured. He died a day later in a hospital from those injuries.
Prisoners in Iran are also suffering from inhumane treatment, including a lack of basic medical care, food and clean water. For those who have been sentenced to death, there is also torture prior to the carrying out of their sentence. Mohammad Nabi Ali Zehi, who has been a prisoner in Zabol for six year, was transferred to solitary confinement prior to his execution. Currently, he is tied to a metal pole, where he will remain until his execution. He is also being denied food and blankets in the cold temperature.
The conditions of these prisoners is in violation of basic human rights, as well as international law for humane treatment of these individuals. Torture is a routine part of the conditions that these prisoners must face. Many have to also contend with long prison sentences for crimes that were not disclosed and for which they had no trial. One political prisoner has been denied even the most basic health care, which includes critical heart surgery. According to his son, he has not even been granted a conditional release for a day to receive treatment. This man, who is one of the heads of the Baha’I society in Iran, has been detained for more than 8 years without any leave.
Prisoners are also being used to do hard labor. At Zabol, prisoners are forced to plant various crops used for animal feed, as well as caring for flocks of sheep and packaging the feed for sale. The prison and government benefits from their labor, but does not compensate them or even provide the basic necessities to the prisoners.
Women and children are not exempt from public punishment and torture. This includes a girl who was 14 and beaten by the morality police for wearing ripped jeans in public. Other women prisoners are separated from their children and kept in horrible conditions, lacking the most basic facilities. Iran continues to violate the rights of their prisoners, particularly those that are being held for years without trial. While these are just a few of the cases mentioned, it is clear that Iran’s prisons are full of those individuals who are being oppressed in order to prop up the regime.