MEK Iran: Political Prisoner Moved to Qarchak Prison
The National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI), Women’s Committee reported that Iranian political prisoner Maryam Banou Nassiri was moved to Qarchak Prison in Varamin on October 22, following the completion of her interrogations in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, where she’d been kept in solitary confinement.
Nassiri was arrested at her home in Qods City on August 17 by Intelligence agents and was later charged with “collaboration with an opposition organization (i.e. the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) ”.
Relocation of political prisoners from Evin seen as preparation for new arrests and imprisonments
— Women's Committee NCRI (@womenncri) October 28, 2020
The 62-year-old lawyer had previously spent three years in jail in the 1980s for supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).
Previous moves of female political prisoners
It has been commonplace recently for the Iranian regime to move female political prisoners from Evin to other prisons, which is dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic because of the increased risk of transmission from new prisoners, especially given the shortage of medical resources in prisons. Over 136,300 people have died of the coronavirus in Iran, according to reports by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).
Other recent moves include Elham Barmaki and Nasrin Sotoudeh, who were also sent to Qarchak Prison, and Yasaman Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi, who were moved to Kachouii Prison in Karaj.
The reason for the moves is thought to be that the regime wants to free up space for new protesters that they expect to arrest on the anniversary of the November 2019 uprising.
New sentences for female political prisoners
On October 14, two female civil activists – Shahla Jahanbin and Shahla Entesari – were verbally summoned to the Evin Courthouse to start their six-year prison sentences on the charges of “association and collusion” and “propaganda against the state”.
While on October 19, writer and researcher Sedigheh Vasmaghi was sentenced to one year in prison by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, something upheld by the Revision Court of Tehran, and she will now begin a five-year prison term that was previously suspended.
New cases for female political prisoners
Environmental activist Niloufar Bayani, who was arrested in January 2018 alongside several other members of a conservation group for “espionage”, and is currently imprisoned in Evin, has been summoned to the courthouse and informed of new charges against her.
This new case was filed after she wrote an open letter about threats of physical and sexual abuse from the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Intelligence agents that were used to torture her during the 1,200 hours of interrogation she was subjected to.
She wrote: “Shockingly, every time I exposed this behavior and sought help from the authorities, the pressures, threats, and acts of torture increased, and they repeatedly told me… not to do anything to irritate the regime.”