Former Qarchak prisoner reveals inhumane prison conditions in Iran
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died on September 15 after suffering terrible beatings while being held by the morality police for not being “improperly veiled.” The tragic death of Mahsa is just the most recent example of the appalling misogynistic conditions that Iranian women must endure. A recent report from the Iran Human Rights Society (IranHRS) contains some shocking details about the appalling treatment of female prisoners in the Varamin, close to Tehran, Qarchak prison. The prison, which is a facility for punishing inmates, has a division for more severe punishment.
The report came from a former Qarchak prisoner who recently left Iran and shared her harrowing experience. “After a couple of months in Qarchak, you forget once had an ordinary life,” she remarked. “There, you live a primitive life.”
This prisoner claims that food is extremely scarce in Qarchak. “Prisoners are always starving. Every prisoner receives a frozen, boiled egg, a third of a potato, and a piece of bread for dinner. Those inmates who do not receive help from the outside cannot purchase anything.”
Those who buy food, however, are not in a better position because they cannot cook. “There are no stoves or cooking facilities in the prison. As a result, inmates who buy canned food are forced to eat it without boiling it. Therefore, many of them suffer from various diseases.”This report claims that while women in Qarchak lack even the most basic hygienic amenities, bathing is another form of torture.
In the meantime, “many homeless and drug addicts in this prison suffer from various infectious diseases. Many of them bring lice with them to prison. However, they have no access to medical care, and this problem severely affects others as well. “The healthcare situation in Qarchak prison is terrible. After midnight, they hardly ever take a prisoner with a serious illness to the hospital. The hospital has no medicine. Its pharmacy is also empty,” according to the report.
The recently freed prisoner claimed that “women in prison who are pregnant and had a miscarriage due to the harsh conditions of the prison were mistreated and deprived of medical attention. If they would speak, they would be assaulted.”
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