The transfer of political prisoner Saeed Saleki to Dezfool Prison has brought the attention of human rights activists to the prison’s dire conditions.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that an “informed resident of Ahvaz” has told them that Saleki, an Arab activist, was transferred to Dezfool Prison from Ahvaz two months ago, during which time he has been denied telephone calls and visits.
The report indicates that Dezfool Prison is used to house drug and robbery convicts and is kept in an appalling state.
Overcrowding reportedly forces prisoners to sleep two to a bed, and the rest sleep on the floor of cells and corridors. They are said to sleep huddled together because there is no room to move. Some are even forced to sleep in the prison yard.
Hygiene is reportedly in a “disastrous” state, and the prisoners have to wait for days just to shower for a few minutes. The report indicates that the prison is “disease ridden, which makes the survival of prisoners in this facility highly unlikely."
The report goes on to add that prisoners are regularly beaten by guards, and drugs are widely sold and used among the prisoners.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that Karoon Prison in Ahvaz suffers from similar problems.
In September, the head of Iran’s Prison Organization, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said in a meeting that the escalating number of prisoners is causing a crisis in the prison system. He added that the prison system regularly suffers a two-month budget shortfall each year.
In July, he also reported to Parliament that the level of hygiene in the prison system is rapidly deteriorating.
Esmaili confirmed the spread of disease in the prison system, explaining that the prison facilities are overburdened to three times their capacity in terms of both space and budget.