Jailed reformist Mohsen Mirdamadi has issued an open letter from Evin Prison to challenge the recent favourable reports of a parliamentary delegation that visited there. Astara MP Safar Naimi has said that Evin should be referred to as Hotel Evin for the high-quality services that it offers to prisoners.
The delegation visited Evin Prison on January 21 after numerous reports of the mistreatment of prisoners, a lack of space and inadequate services at Iranian prison facilities circulated through the media in recent years.
The delegation reportedly visited ward 350 of Evin Prison, which is known as the section for political prisoners.
In a letter issued on January 24, Mirdamadi says that the Astara MP has quoted false statements on his behalf and on behalf of his cellmate, Alireza Beheshti.
Mirdamadi claims that in an interview with the visiting MPs, he referred to “widespread unwarranted arrests after the 2009 election, and after arrest, the depriving of detainees of their legal rights, issuing sentences without adequate evidence and the pivotal role of interrogators in passing those sentences.”
The head of the reformist organization known as the Islamic Iran Participation Front goes on to add that, in section 350 of Evin, “there are many prisoners that have been subjected to physical and mental pressure during interrogations, and those that have been held in solitary for long stretches without legal justification.”
Mirdamadi says political prisoners are especially denied the minimum services rightfully accorded to any prisoner.
Many top reformist figures were arrested in the election protests of 2009, after reformist candidates MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi challenged the election results. The two reformist candidates are under house arrest and, although no formal charges have been laid against them, the establishment claims that they had “seditious” intentions.
MP Safar Naimi has reportedly quoted Mirdamadi and Beheshti as trying to convince him of their innocence.
Mirdamadi emphasizes that if Naimi feels Evin is like a hotel, then he should live in it for a while to “become fully familiar with all of its hidden aspects.”
Mirdamadi accused the MPs of failing in their duties and closing their eyes to the violations of the rights of the people they represent.