“Dezfool Prison Inmates Are Treated Like Animals”


A local source in Ahvaz told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Saeed Saki, a political prisoner and an Ahvaz Arab activist who was previously held in Karoon Prison of Ahvaz, was transferred to Dezfool prison two months ago. According to the source, the Dezfool Prison is in deplorable conditions due to prison overcrowding and poor hygiene, and treatment of the prisoners is abominable.

“The conduct of Dezfool Prison authorities and prison guards is extremely barbaric and inhumane, and abuse and assault of the prisoners under any excuse is a normal act in this prison. The prisoners are treated like animals,” claimed the source.

“In the last two months, Mr. Saki has … been denied the right to telephone calls and visitation…. [Once] one of the most respected and reputable political prisoners of Karoon Prison in Ahvaz, he is now housed with tens of other prisoners who are all serving time for crimes related to narcotics and robbery,” the source added.

Through information compiled from several prisons in the country, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is seriously concerned about the present conditions of these prisons, which are in no way consistent with national and international standards and laws, and warns against these deplorable conditions in prisons such as Dezfool Prison and Ahvaz Karoon Prison. These prison conditions have severely damaged the physical and mental health of the prisoners. Judiciary branch authorities have repeatedly spoken about the severe overcrowding, a phenomenon that has brought other problems with it.

“Two people sleep on every bed, and on the floors of the rooms [and] of the hallways, prisoners, who are called ‘floor sleepers,’ sleep like books next to each other, in a way that there is no possibility of any kind of movement while sleeping. Even under these circumstances, some of the prisoners are forced to sleep in prison courtyards, and they are called ‘courtyard sleepers,’” the source said.

“For a few minutes of bathing, the prisoners have to wait their turns for several days. Sickness and filth has spread everywhere in the prison and surviving this prison is hardly possible,” the source told the Campaign. “Besides hygiene problems, insufficient suitable space, not even for the prisoners to sleep, [and] failure to separate prisoners according to their crimes, … drug abuse and free trade of narcotics in front of prison closed-circuit cameras have created unbearable conditions in Dezfool Prison.”

“Despite the appalling conditions of the Karoon Prison; the conditions in Dezfool Prison are far more horrific and more inhumane than Ahvaz Karoon Prison. We demand investigation of these prisons. We also want Saeed Saki, a prisoner of conscience, to be returned to the political ward of Karoon Prison, because the conditions of Dezfool Prison are not even consistent with standards of keeping animals, let alone the living standards for a human being. We do not even demand human rights organizations to come to Dezfool for inspection; any animal rights organizations are welcome to come to Dezfool Prison!  If they verify that animals can survive these conditions, we will not object anymore,” the source continued.

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