Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, head of Iran’s prison service, on Tuesday acknowledged the authenticity of video footage leaked by hackers on the Internet, which shows horrific conditions and abuses in Evin Prison, in a rare admission by the authorities that abuses occurred against prisoners.
“Regarding the pictures from Evin prison, I accept the responsibility for this unacceptable behavior and commit to try and prevent a repeat of these bitter events and deal seriously with the perpetrators,” Mohammad Mehdi Haj mohammadi wrote on Twitter.
It is noteworthy that an electronic hacking group called Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice) has published the video recordings on social media, apparently taken by security surveillance cameras, showing guards brutally beating prisoners and dragging them to the ground.
The group also has confirmed that it would continue to expose the government’s unjust practices, executions, and what is happening in its secret prisons to silence activists, so that the world can hear the oppressed voices in Iran for the freedom of all political prisoners.
The leaking of photos put Iran in major embarrassment, particularly as it has consistently rejected criticism of its human rights record as baseless.
Since its construction in 1971, Evin prison has witnessed a series of non-stop violations against prisoners, according to human rights groups.
The authorities had dismissed the former director of the Prisons Authority in 2014 after news of the assault on political prisoners spread, in an effort to calm the angry public opinion.
Human rights groups have long criticized Evin Prison, nicknamed “the terrible”, and it mostly holds political prisoners and detainees facing security charges. The US blacklisted the prison in 2018 for “serious human rights violations”.
“The Evin prison authorities use the threat of torture, threats of indefinite imprisonment, torture of family members, deception, humiliation, multiple daily interrogations lasting five or six hours, denial of medical care and denial of family visits,” Human Rights Watch said in an earlier report