Iranian authorities investigate notorious prison abuses after videos leaked


Iranian prosecutors announced on Tuesday it has opened criminal cases against six guards at the country’s notorious Evin Prison, after leaked footage last week showed the widespread abuse of detainees at the facility.

The Associated Press, in a report about the abuse at the facility in northern Tehran, published parts of the videos taken by a hacker group from inside the prison.

Evin Prison is long known for holding political prisoners and those with ties to the West whom Iran uses as bargaining chips.

The judiciary’s three-day investigation into mistreatment and grim conditions at the prison has landed “some” prison guards in detention, said judiciary spokesman Zabihollah Khodaeian.

Khodaeian added, authorities also summoned two guards and punished others without elaborating on the penalties or identifying the suspects.

An online account, purportedly by a self-described hacker group, shared footage of the incident, as well as parts of other surveillance video it seized.

“The scenes shown in the published films were against the law and it is not justifiable under any circumstances,” said Khodaeian, noting that the leaked clips had been selected and edited from different scenes over the course of years.

In one part of the footage, a man smashes a bathroom mirror to try to cut open his arm. The leaked footage also shows inmates sleeping in single rooms with bunk beds stacked three high against the walls, wrapping themselves in blankets to stay warm.

Prisoners — and even guards — beat each other in scenes captured by surveillance cameras.

Since its construction in 1971, the prison has seen a series of abuses that continued into the Islamic Republic. (Source: Arab News)