The mayor of Tehran says the head of the judiciary has approved plans to transform Evin Prison into a park, agreeing to pay for part of the project cost.

Evin Prison

Evin Prison

The Tasnim News Agency reports that Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibof announced on Monday May 11 that the meeting with the judiciary took place two months ago, and now Ayatollah Larijani has agreed to cooperate with the City of Tehran to transform Evin Prison into a green space.

The mayor previously had said the city was prepared to buy the Evin Prison property and turn it into a public recreation centre.

Evin was built more than 45 years ago in the north end of Tehran, and many political prisoners under the former and current regimes have served their sentences there.

While the mayor says the project’s goal is to increase green space in the capital, there is still no concrete plan to transfer Evin prisoners to another location.

A report by the head of the National Prisoners Organization indicated that 6,000 prisoners were serving sentences in Evin Prison.

Qasr Prison in Tehran, which had been an older facility for political prisoners, was transformed into a museum and public gardens.

Most Evin Prison inmates are serving sentences for political or financial offences.