March 8, 2011
The Iranian regime’s Director of the Prisons Organization has revealed that there are now more than 220,000 prisoners in Iran, with 55,000 added to the prison population in the course of the past year and a half alone.
The Iranian people have mounted numerous anti-regime uprisings since the summer of 2009, and the regime has arrested scores of dissidents and protestors in response.
Revealing startling figures published by the state-run Fars news agency on Thursday, Gholamhossein Esmaili, suggested that expanding the prison system is a critical task for the regime.
Esmaili was recently added to a list of 80 names of some of the worst human rights violators in Iran that the European Union will slap sanctions on.
He said that while the “official capacity” of prisons is 85,000, there are well over 220,000 people behind bars.
“During the period that I took over as director of the organization, 55,000 people have been added to the overall number of prisoners while even as little as 55 meters of space has not been added to the current system.”
Esmaili referred to some examples of cases related to prisoners, saying, “An individual has been in prison for 11 months simply for not paying a debt of (an equivalent of) $100.”
“We talked to 400 inmates in jail and asked them if they had requested bail. More than 100 said they had, but that they were refused.”
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