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Iran: Prison Massacre: Hundreds of Prisoners Dead or Injured

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Saturday March 19, 2011 18:48author by John Cornford - Hands Off the People of Iran Report this post to the editors

Protest To The Iranian Embassy

Its not just in Libya that civilians are being slaughtered, its also happening in Iran. At least 150 prisoners are dead or injured after bloody clashes erupted in Karaj’s Ghezel Hesar prison on the night of March 15th. Thousands of prisoners from units 2 and 3 launched a protest after hearing the news of plans to execute ten inmates.

Approximately 3,000 prisoners attempted to break the doors of their cells while chanting, “Executions must stop.” Security forces attacked the prison cells, resulting in bloody clashes and the transfer of some prisoners from their cells. Reports indicate that prison guards used live ammunitions to control the protesters. Consequently, nearly eighty prisoners were seriously injured or killed, but the number of those shot is at 150 or higher. A handful of officers along with the deputy warden of the prison, Mr. Safakhil suffered leg injuries during the clashes. The prisoners who protested are either serving a heavy sentence or facing imminent execution.

The Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners reported on March 16th that some people attacked the prison from the outside in an attempt to free some of the detainees. According to these reports, some prisoners escaped. The news of the escapes has not been confirmed by other sources.

The latest news indicates that Ghezel Hesar prison is under lock down after riot police forces entered the grounds. On March 19th, the RAHANA group reported that phone privileges have been cut off for prisoners until further notice. Yesterday morning, some prisoners were able to make brief phone calls to their families, but by noon, all communication was cut off.

The Iranian regime’s Fars News Agency reported that after destructing the prison facilities, breaking windows, and attacking the guards, protesters attempted to escape the prison. The report did not mention the use of live ammunitions against the protesters, but did confirm the death of a few inmates as a result of “inflected injuries and smoke inhalation.”

Translation of The Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners , RAHANA by Persian2English.

On March 16th, the Reuters news agency reported 14 deaths and 33 injuries, citing Iran’s State TV as the source.

Amnesty International say:

Amnesty International has called for an investigation into reports that up to 14 people were killed in a disturbance in a jail near Tehran this week.

The incident at the overcrowded Qezel Hesar prison in Karaj occurred on Tuesday night when clashes broke out involving prisoners and prison guards. The Prisons Chief said that a judicial investigation has been launched.

"Such a high death toll is extremely worrying. Prison officials have a responsibility to maintain order and to protect the lives of prisoners, but must exercise restraint," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"A prompt inquiry into these deaths is essential but it must be independent and transparent, as international human rights standards require, such as those set out in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Body of Principles for the protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

"Unfortunately the Iranian Judiciary has routinely failed to carry out such investigations, so we are once again calling on the international community to use the current session of the UN Human Rights Council to create a Special Rapporteur to monitor and report on human rights in the Iran.”

Protest to the Iranian Embassy about this slaughter:

Sample message:

We are horrified at the reports of the slaughter of prisoners which took place Ghezel Hesar prison on the night of March 15th. We call on the Iranian Government to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council in an impartial investigation of this atrocity.

In addition we call on the Iranian Government t free all Political Prisoners and to abolish the death penalty.

His Excellency Mr. Hossein Panahiazar
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
72 Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin

Tel: 01 288 5881 / 01 288 0252.
Fax: 01 283 4246.



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