A self-described hacking group calling itself Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice) has leaked confidential documents to RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that appear to reveal the plight of prisoners at Evin prison, Iran’s most notorious facility.
According to the prison documents, hunger strikes by prisoners and the publication of open letters by inmates is considered “criminal” behavior.
In one document, a former official at Evin prison called for the punishment of inmates who refused to eat or released letters, statements, and audio files from prison.
“In such cases, prisoners [accused] of violations should be held in isolation, their welfare [including private and public meetings] should be limited, and we should look into their demands,” the document says.
The document says Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman held in Iran for five years, was punished in 2019 after she went on hunger strike to protest her imprisonment. Rights groups have described her detention as hostage-taking aimed at winning concessions from foreign powers.
Prison authorities denied Zaghari-Ratcliffe personal visits, a measure that led her to “break her hunger strike,” the document said, adding that the method should be used with other inmates.
RFE/RL could not independently verify the authenticity of the documents leaked by Edalat-e Ali.
Some political prisoners in Iran have in recent years gone on hunger strike to protest their prison conditions. Inmates have also released open letters and statements from prison in a bid to highlight their mistreatment and voice their opinions on political events.
Earlier this year, Edalat-e Ali hacked into Evin prison’s CCTV cameras and leaked videos that appeared to show the systematic mistreatment of inmates at the prison, including beatings.
The unprecedented hacked footage was a major embarrassment for Iranian authorities, who had claimed in the past that Evin’s inmates are treated with “kindness and Islamic mercy.” The videos prompted a rare apology from the head of Iranian Prisons Organization.