Iran: Families of Prisoners on Hunger Strike Violently Dealt with by Regime’s Prosecutor Office

The families of the Rajaeeshahr political prisoners that are currently on hunger strike have been harshly, offensively treated by the security guards in the Iranian regime’s prosecutor’s office, the reports say.

On Wednesday, August 23, the families of the prisoners in Rajaeeshar’s went to regime’s prosecutor office three weeks after the inmates started a hunger strike asking for their basic rights inside the prison. The families wanted to hand over a letter to regime’s Prisons Organization where they outline the unlawful behavior of the prison officials’ towards the inmates, but the security guards in the prosecutor’s office treated the families harshly and offensively.

“We, the families, wrote a letter and referred to the Prisons Organization”, says a family member, “Although we were mostly women together with our kids, the security guards didn’t allow us to get in and didn’t take the letter, either. Meanwhile, head of the security guards in place began insulting us and even threw a mother down the stairs.”

The letter written by families of the prisoners says that they were transferred to the new ward while being beaten.

“Using such ‘totally beyond human dignity and inmates rights’ methods like unconventional inspections and handcuffing, dragging on the ground, and beating, the inmates were abruptly and without prior notice transferred to a new section which lacks even the basic facilities”, the letter says.

The families have criticized the fact that “the inmates were not even allowed to bring their personal belongings and necessary medications with them”, adding that “since being transferred to the new section, the inmates are denied of even such basic amenities like fridge, cooker, TV, and cooking stuff, which they used to have while they were in the previous section.”

According to the letter, most of these appliances were obtained at the expense of inmates and their families, and since no action was taken despite repeated oral and written protests by inmates and their families, “the inmates eventually decided to go on a mass hunger strike to protest against the current situation.”

Pointing to physical conditions of some inmates and the ‘clear weakness and atrophy’ they’re suffering from, the letter then expresses concern over inmates’ continued hunger strike and refers to seizure of their personal belongings as an act of ‘public plundering’.

“Even the inmates’ cigarettes have been seized”, the letter says, adding “Inmates’ personal photos seized during their transfer to the new ward ended up in trash cans… Going through the past three weeks for some inmates have been more difficult than serving years of prison term.”

Meanwhile, Magda Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director for Amnesty International, said on August 22 “the fact that detention conditions have become so poor that the desperate inmates feel they are forced to go on hunger strike to demand the most basic standards is disgraceful and highlights the urgent need for reforms to Iran’s cruel prison system.”

Despite the international, domestic, and families’ concerns over the inmates’ continued hunger strike in Evin and Rajaeeshahr prisons, the Tehran prosecutor has announced that the judiciary is not going to step aside due to inmates’ hunger strike and that such measures are destined to fail.

“We hereby inform the inmates turning to hunger strike and similar measures that such approaches are going to fail”, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said on Wednesday August 23.

“The judiciary is not going to give in to such measures”, he added, “inmates’ sentences must be fully enforced and we are not supposed to be affected by such actions like the hunger strike.”