May 2, 2011
The web site of human rights activists reported that Saturday April 30th, families of prisoners went for visiting their loved ones at section 1 of the Karaj city’s Gowhar-dasht prison. When they arrived at the visiting area, they noticed a wall of about 80 centimeters high, with the families positions 2 meters away from it on one side, and the prisoners, 2 meters away from it on the other side. In other words, the distance between the families and the prisoners was about 4 meters. Additionally, between each family and their loved one there stood a prison guard. Ali Mardani, the head of Karaj’s Gowhar-dasht prison has established these new barriers and yet calls these visits “personal.”
On Saturday, the families protested this situation and crossed the barrier walls and hugged their loved ones; they were faced with brutal attacks by the prison guards. After mistreatment of the families and insulting them, the guards cancelled all the visits. The clashes between the families and prison guards continued for some time.
Such suppressive steps have increased since Ali Mardani, the new head of Karaj’s Gowhar-dasht prison, has taken charge. Some of the suppressive actions by Mardani include: creation of inhumane restrictions for the defenseless prisoners who often cannot have a single visit by their family members for months, severe reduction in prisoners food ration, transferring prisoners to the torture chambers and torturing them, establishing medical treatment restrictions and many other similar actions.