News / Middle East

    Iran Lawmakers Demand Probe of Alleged Beatings of Political Prisoners

    FILE - Iranian prisoners work in a kitchen in the Evin prison, Tehran.
    FILE - Iranian prisoners work in a kitchen in the Evin prison, Tehran.
    VOA News
    Several moderate Iranian lawmakers have demanded a probe into alleged beatings of several political prisoners held at Tehran's Evin prison, Iran’s official news media reported.

    The demand comes after foreign media last week reported that more than 30 detainees in Ward 350 at the prison were allegedly beaten, several of them seriously, during a snap inspection on April 17.

    Iranian judiciary officials continue to deny any use of violence, despite testimonies from the families of the prisoners.

    Gholam Hossein Esmaili, the head of Iran’s state prisons, called the foreign media reports propaganda against the Islamic republic.

    Asked about injuries suffered by the prisoners, Esmaili said, "We don't intend to respond to the allegations made by opposition websites that spread lies against the regime," the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.

    On Tuesday, Iranian State Television broadcast a 10-minute report, lambasting Voice of America’s Persian service and BBC Persian Television for their coverage of the raid on the political prisoners in Evin prison.

    Families of the inmates protested the alleged abuse outside the presidential palace earlier this week, eventually meeting with a presidential adviser to discuss their concerns.

    By Wednesday, Esmaili was removed from his prison post. He was promoted and will head Iran’s judiciary department, the Associated Press reported.

    The Guardian reported on its website that more than 30 inmates held in Evin's Ward 350 were beaten April 17.

    Some suffered skull fractures, broken ribs, wounds and swelling on their bodies after guards and intelligence officials forced the prisoners to run through a gauntlet as they beat them with batons, according to opposition sources.

    Voice of America’s Persian service heard from several prisoners’ family members.

    Mohammad Shojaei’s sister said she saw her brother during a regular visit at the prison on Monday. “There were several wounds and bruises on his body,” she said. “He told me that officers handcuffed his hands behind his back and beat him.”

    Inmate Amir Eslami’s wife said that when she saw her husband at the prison, she could tell he had been beaten. Eslami told her: “We are in good condition, so we are allowed to visit our family. But others who (were) beaten heavily are in solitary cells.”

    Eslami’s wife said she told her husband to report his injuries to the prison medical office. But he told her that if he were to report his injuries, officials would send him to solitary.
     
    Inmate Hossein Ronagi’s father said, "Our sons are not safe there. … They threaten us to be quiet. How can I become silent when there is no safety for my son and I?"

    The wife of inmate Atefeh Khalafi said, "Our prisoners are innocent. Everybody knows they were arrested after 2009 election and without a fair trial and … sentenced to years. Now, we expect respect from officials and also new government."

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who promised to usher in change, including better treatment of political prisoners, had not yet commented on Thursday about the alleged incident last week.

    The Committee to Protect Journalists said at least seven Iranian journalists were among those beaten. CPJ stated: “We call on the Iranian government to hold to account those involved in the attack and to ensure that all the journalists receive appropriate medical care.”

    In a BBC report, human rights activists have accused the Iranian authorities of regularly subjecting prisoners, especially those convicted on politically motivated charges, to abuse and of depriving them of medical treatment.

    Seven political prisoners are thought to have died as a result of torture, ill-treatment, or medical neglect since 2009, when millions protested after the disputed re-election of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora