Iran: Prisoner Describes Hellhole Conditions

By Mahmoud Hakamian

Iran’s Evin Prison has been described as a “dungeon” and a “hellhole” that fails to meet basic standards for prisoner health and safety, even by the Regime’s standards, People’s Mojahedin Orgainzation of Iran (PMOI/MEK) reports.

A prisoner has written about the horrific conditions that Iranian prisoners are suffering under; conditions that we wouldn’t even want factory-farmed animals to live under.

The prisoner explains that in Evin Prison, 20-25 inmates will share a single cell, far exceeding capacity, with many prisoners forced to sleep on the floor.

The food is also of very poor quality, with no vegetable or protein-rich foods to help keep them healthy. Inmates are served half-cooked rice and soya that is specially made for livestock on a daily basis. Prison rules state that one loaf of bread should be provided with every meal, but currently only one and half a loaves of low-quality bread is being served for the whole day.

Of course, the prisoners can buy more low-quality food (i.e. fruits, vegetables) at the prison store, but these items are very limited in quantity, with fresh items only arriving once every three weeks, so often sell out fast. On top of that, the prison charges exorbitant prices, at least 20% more than a regular shop, so many prisoners cannot afford to buy them.

Another reason that prisoners are finding it hard to afford basic food, which should be provided to them anyway, is that prisoners often have to pay for sanitary items, like trash bags, which they need to keep their cells clean.

The prisoner wrote: “Any inmate unable to afford this must do chores/services for the prison, such as round up trash [or] clean various areas.”

Inmates are also being deprived of hygienic items that they need to get themselves clean, like toothpaste, shampoo, towels, razors, and toothbrushes. The prison has stopped supplying toothpaste, toothbrushes or towels, while supplies for other items has been cut in half. Shampoo, for instance, is now supplied only once every two months.

Now, with bad food and hygiene being forced on the prisoners, you would rightly assume that more of them would get sick. The worst part of that is that medical care, even limited care for something like a cold, is basically non-existent.

Doctors only see a limited amount of patients per day, roughly 5 per 200 inmates, and even if you can see a doctor, the prison provides no medicine. The patient’s family is forced to pay for this, but the inmate must first pay a huge sum to call their family to ask for the money.

The prisoner wrote: “In ward 8, where 800 inmates are held, there are 40 phones that are open only 12 hours a day. Each prisoner is officially permitted to have a call lasting for only half an hour. However, one-third of this time is eaten up to enter the various codes needed to open the necessary lines. Another problem is that prison officials receive bribes from certain inmates, and thus they do not allocate the time equally among all inmates. This has resulted in quarrels and even fights among ordinary prisoners.”

Iran does not care about its prisoners or its people – after all, it’s been condemned by the United Nations 65 times for human rights violations – which is why the prisons are being run for profit. This piece did not even touch on the torture and executions that take place in these walls.

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