Dear Mr. Ahmad Shaheed and Mrs. Navi Pillay
Listen to my cry out against injustice!
I am Shahrokh Zamani, the trade unionist, and have been living in Tehran since 30 years ago. I was arrested when I went to Tabriz to visit my parents on June 8, 2011 without any proof or judicial order by armed intelligence agents. I was under mental and physical torture in the solitary confinement and was insulted and threatened to death and even being rapped to accept what the interrogator was dictating. I went on hunger strike for 32 days and did not answer any question, demanding being tried in a court in presence of my lawyer and jury and I lost 28 kilo grams of my weight.
I was tried by judge Hamlbar in the branch number 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz without any evidences and sentenced to 11 years in prison. The judge himself has confessed in the issued verdict that I have been denying the charges during the investigation process. So he has to be held accountable for the reason of this heavy sentence. The verdict was confirmed by judge Imani in the branch 6 of the Appeal Court of the East Azerbaijan Province which is known as the confirmation branch. The branch 29 of the Supreme Court which is known as the intelligence branch also confirmed the sentence. Mr. Pour Faridi, who was my lawyer at the time asked the judge of the appeal court to show at least one acceptable proof for the issued sentence. A judge of the Supreme Court had told my mother that there is no evidence according to which even 1 day in prison sentence could be issued.
According to the Article 22 of the internal bylaw of the prisons any military, judicial and intelligence body is definitely forbidden from interfering in the inner issues of the prisons. However there are intelligence offices in all prisons such as ward 209 in Evin Prison, ward 37 in Tabriz Central Prison and ward 8 of the IRGC in Rajai Shahr Prison who are controlling and monitoring the political prisoners in a daily basis. By the order of the intelligence officers I was transferred to different wards in Tabriz Central Prison such as quarantine, ward 12 where the dangerous prisoners are kept and ward 15 which is known as Methadone ward and the prisoners there are suffering from HIV, Hepatitis and Gangrene. Then I was exiled to the Yazd Prison and afterwards to the Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Finally and despite the internal bylaw of the prisons which states the separation of the prisons according to their crimes I was exiled to the Ghezel Hesar Prison where the drug-related prisoners are kept.
I was the representative of the political prisoners of the ward 12 of the Rajai Shahr Prison trying to defend the rights of the prisoners and complaining to the authorities about the closing of the only library of the prison, increase in the spreading of the dangerous electrical noises and beating the prisoners. I asked the authorities to respect the prisoners’ right in accordance with the internal bylaw of the prisons through a letter.
None of these prisons have the least legal standards and the prisoners are deprived of their rights such as nutrition, health care, education, sport, contact with their families through telephone calls, prison visits, furloughs and letters and are under systematic mental and physical tortures. Despite the article 3 of the internal bylaw of the prisons which says the aim of the imprisonment is pedagogy the most violent and illiterate people are chosen as the authorities of the prisons who consider torturing the prisoners as a key to heaven.
As a trade unionist, I have been arrested and imprisoned illegally and have been exiled to one of the worst prisons of Iran which can be compared to the prisons of the middle ages. Ghezel Hesar Prison has 10 independent wards with the capacity of 7000 prisoners however there are 20 to 38 thousand prisoners there. At the moment there are 21 to 22 thousand prisoners in this prison including 3000 death row prisoners, 7000 prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment and almost this much sentenced to 15 years in prison. There are 10 to 20 prisoners hanged every month. Most of the issued sentences are under torture and in the absence of the lawyer and jury. Since a prisoner enters the prison he has to be naked in 3 different points in front of 2 or 3 cameras. In the 7.5 quarter meters rooms there are 9 to 16 prisoners kept. In ward 3, which is known as the best one, there are only 5 bathrooms which are usable only for 40 minutes to 2 hours a day for 160 to 200 prisoners.
There is no water between 1 p.m. and p.m. most of the days. There is no proper health care system. Each prisoner is taken to the clinic once a month and the doctors there always give some pills without examining them. The food is made of soybeans for animals and has such law quality that most prisoners prefer to be hungry and not eat that food. Those who want to buy food from the restaurant have to pay 17 thousand Tomans for the chicken which is sold for 6 thousand Tomans outside the prison. The bad financial condition of the prisoners makes them deal drugs and cigarettes – where it is forbidden – telephone cards, calling times etc. There is no book in the prison to read. In a place called Dar-Al-Koran the prisoners are forced to learn Arabic and memorize Koran and are misused as finks. The other prisoners name there Dar-Al-Sheytan (The home of devil) since the prisoners are humiliated there and forced to spy on the other prisoners.
Any objection will face solitary confinement, cutting the hairs, being beaten and lashes on the sole. The prisoners are thrown in the pool and then tortured with electric hemlocks. Mr. Shirazi who is responsible for the quarantine and his entire family including his daughters, sons and daughter-in-law work in the prison as well in used to insult the prisoners’ families added to beating the prisoners.
There are lot of prisoners suffering from HIV, Hepatitis and Gangrene. In ward 1 where there 6000 prisoners only 400 prisoners are healthy and others are suffering from HIV, Gangrene and Tuberculosis. 65 to 70 prisoners have died during recent 4 months. During the first week of the Iranian New Year 4 prisoners died because of not being transferred to the hospital.
In ward 4 which is known as workhouse ward there are 15 prisoners whose HIV test was positive.
This was a summary of the situation of the prison where I am being kept.
Dear Mr. Ahmad Shaheed and Mrs. Navi Pillay;
I have been on hunger strike since 33 days ago in protest to being exiled to Ghezel Hesar Prison and have lost 20 kilo grams weight. Despite writing 12 letters to the authorities of Ghezel Hesar Prison asking them to be returned to the political ward of the Rajai Shahr Prison I have not received any answer yet. Considering the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran responsible for any mental and physical harm I urge you to dispatch a commission of inquiry and put pressure on the Islamic Republic to fulfill their obligations according to their own laws and return me to the political ward.
I thank you for all your efforts
April 7, 2014