A 23-year-old woman attempted suicide in Tehran’s notorious Qarchak prison on August 31. According to a human rights website, the prison guards made no attempts to aid the injured woman.
An informed source told the Javaneha Human Rights Website that “prison authorities were indifferent to her plight and did not even take her to the infirmary”. The report said that she was bandaged and sent on her way.
“She is very weak and in very poor condition and might die at any moment,” the source told the website.
The young woman cut her neck artery with the sharp edge of the lid of a container of canned goods.
“She passed out because of the heavy bleeding. Other prisoners forced the prison guards to save her. But the guards did not even take her to the infirmary and only took her out of the cell, bandaged her and returned her to the cell.”
The other prisoners protested the guards’ indifference, but were told that “she will be fine, don’t worry”.
This is the fourth known suicide in the past two months in Qarchak Prison. Female inmates at Qarchak Prison have committed suicide in the past due to prison officials’ abusive behavior, horrid prison conditions, and severe mental pressure.
Addiction, sexual assaults, and attacks in Qarchak Prison
There are horrid reports of addiction, sexual assaults, and the brutal beating of inmates at Qarchak Prison, which holds approximately 2,000 women and some children. Women feel that they have no other option but to commit suicide to rid themselves of the horrific conditions.
Reports indicate that drugs make their way inside the prison with the help of prison authorities and guards. Prison authorities threaten prisoners with solitary confinement to prevent prison protests. According to Javaneha, prison guards do not interfere with brutal fights between inmates.
Women are under pressure and sexually assaulted. Qarchak Prison guards mistreat and abuse women while using degrading profanities and insults. The report said that most prisoners were suffering from psychological problems.
In a July 14 report, the Human Rights News Agency said that older prisoners sexually assault new inmates in several prison sections. Security cameras in the restrooms, where prisoners are beaten and sexually assaulted, have been broken by inmates. Despite knowing about the attacks, prison authorities are indifferent and do not repair the cameras. Even the prison’s social workers turn a blind eye to the sexual assaults, the report said.
Last August, around 200 women at the prison wrote a letter to a Tehran Prison official detailing horrid conditions at the prison.
According to the women, some prisoners had taken to injuring themselves, a harmful way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration while others were taking handfuls of tranquilizer pills to deal with their emotional stress.
Most recently, British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert was transferred to the notorious prison. Several political prisoners are also held at the prison alongside dangerous criminals.