MEK: Iran’s Evin Prison Conditions
A group of hackers recently leaked footage inside the renowned Evin prison in an attempt to demonstrate the prison’s deplorable circumstances. The prison is notable for keeping political prisoners and individuals with foreign affiliations who are frequently used as bargaining chips in discussions with the West.
The prison’s deplorable circumstances
In one scene, a man shatters a bathroom mirror in an attempt to sever his arm. In moments filmed by surveillance cameras, inmates — and sometimes guards — beat each other. Inmates slept in separate chambers with bunk beds stacked three high against the walls, keeping warm by covering themselves in blankets.
Iran did not immediately react to a request for comment addressed to the United Nations mission in New York, despite the fact that it has been chastised by the UN special rapporteur over its prison conditions. The incident at Evin has not been recognized by Iranian state media.
Timestamps from 2020 and this year
Timestamps from 2020 and this year can be found in a lot of the films. Guards wearing facemasks are shown in several films without the stamp, indicating that they arrived during the coronavirus outbreak.
Despite the lack of sound in the videos, they convey the bleak reality of the facility’s inmates. In one scene, an emaciated man appears to be tossed from a car in the parking lot and dragged through the prison.
Another image depicts a cleric walking down the stairs, past the man without pausing.
Prisoner’s gets beaten by guards
A man dressed in a prisoner’s uniform gets beaten by guards in another video. In a holding cell, one guard sucker-punches a prisoner. The guards, like the prisoners, battle amongst themselves. Many of them are housed in single-room cells. No one is wearing a mask.
The Justice of Ali, as the account that shared the recordings with the Associated Press is called, is a reference to the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law, who is adored by Shiites. It also makes fun of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.
It claimed to have “hundreds” of gigabytes of data from a hack that took place many months ago. It did not respond to questions regarding who was responsible for the leak.
The timing of the leak coincided with the election of Raisi
According to the report, the timing of the leak coincided with the election of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line devotee of Khamenei who was engaged in the death of thousands of people at the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988.
Iran, which has been sanctioned by the West for a long time, struggles to obtain modern gear and software, relying on Chinese-made equipment or older systems. For example, the control room system in the video appears to be running Windows 7, for which Microsoft no longer supplies patches.
That would make it easy for a hacker to find you. Throughout Iran, pirated versions of Windows and other software are popular.
U.N. Special Rapporteur Javaid Rehman
However, issues persisted. U.N. Special Rapporteur Javaid Rehman has regularly identified Evin prison as a source of prisoner mistreatment in his reports.
In January, Rehman cautioned that Iran’s whole prison system was suffering from “long-standing overcrowding and hygiene deficiencies,” as well as “insurmountable obstacles” in responding to COVID-19.
Political prisoners have contracted COVID-19
Javaid Rehman added, “Prisoners of conscience and political prisoners have contracted COVID-19 or experienced symptoms, with many of them being denied testing or treatment or experiencing unnecessary delays in receiving test results and treatment.”