More than 60 former Iranian political prisoners issued a statement on Monday expressing deep concern over conditions faced by detainees of protests in Khuzestan province in July.

The 62 signatories referring to high summer temperatures, lack of appropriate facilities and the high number of prisoners in detention centers said they are concerned that past mistreatment of political prisoners can happen again in Khuzestan.

Many political detainees in the past have been mistreated in Iranian prisons and some have died either as a result of torture or being deprived of health care.

Protests that began on July 15 for lack of water in Khuzestan turned into anti-government unrest in the following days and an undetermined number of people were arrested by security forces. The government has not disclosed the number of detainees, while in the first days of the crackdown one human rights monitoring organization, HRANA said it had determined the identity of 100 people.

More arrests have taken place since then, as security forces went door-to-door after identifying activists and protesters.

In the statement, the former prisoners say that suppression of protests by force and detention of a large group of people will create and intensify anger in the population and will not resolve any issues.

Signatories demanded the immediate release of all detainees. Government officials have promised to release those “who did not commit a crime”, but in the past they have charged people for simply voicing demands or criticizing the government.

Source » iranintl