Evin Prison Torture Center Still After 40 Years
Evin Prison torture center is still what many remember and are experiencing present within its premises. Known to be one of the most notorious prisons in the world, just the mention of its name conjures up emotions of fear and foreboding in the hearts of ordinary Iranian citizens, as it has become synonymous with political repression, mass hangings and torture. This is how Tony Duheaume describes it on English Alarabiya.
Hadi Sadeghi, Deputy Chancellor of the Iranian Judiciary was quoted by the state-run ISNA news agency on May 30 as saying, “There are no precepts of imprisonment in Islam, so we need to seek alternative punishments. Physical punishment is much more effective than imprisonment, and the punishment of flogging is much more effective in Islam. But, the human rights agencies do not have a good idea on this matter.”
The state-run Fars news agency cited Judiciary spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, on January 17 as stressing on cross amputation for offenders where their opposite hand and foot are amputated. “Other punishments we have in mind for those who create insecurity in the society include execution and permanently isolating them from the society so that they would not dare to return to their life and people.”
Iranian courts and particularly the revolutionary courts regularly fell short of providing fair trials and allegedly used confessions obtained under torture as evidence in court. Iranian law restricts the right for a defendant to access a lawyer, particularly during the investigation period. One current instant reported by Amnesty International and the UN is of a young Kurdish man, Ramin, up against execution any day soon.
Torture in prisons dates back to as far as the Shah era when thousands of political prisoners were incarcerated, including many supporters of the Peoples Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and it was from this point on Evin’s reputation of hell on earth had begun.
Based on a submission by Justice for Iran (JFI) on sexual violence in the Islamic Republic, the October 2013 report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Professor Rashida Manjoo to the UN General Assembly ended the cycle of silence on one of the most traumatic forms of state-sponsored human rights abuse aimed at women in custody in Iran, the raping of virgins prior to execution.
Tucked in among other forms of sexual torture propagated by the order and hands of Islamic Republic prison officials against incarcerated Iranians, the rape of virgins acts as a catalyst to draw attention to the use of violence, in particular, sexual violence as a significant state instrument by the Iranian judiciary over the past three decades.