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Inmates at the Great Tehran Penitentiary are made to do forced labor, according to reports from inside Iran.

The supervisors and prison guards from Ward 5 are taking advantage of the over 1500 inmates in prison for selling alcoholic beverages, who should be jailed in the much-worse Ward 4. Guards threaten to send them to Ward 4 unless the inmates do this work.

What work is this? Well, it can range from counting the number of people in cells to frisking inmates from doing personal chores for the guards to distributing methadone, which is used to subdue prisoners and prevent protests. Others will make good for companies that sell cheap products. The night supervisor, who is paid 6 million tomans per month, even forces inmates to do his job overnight, which means they cannot sleep. They, of course, get no payment for this.

The inmates are regularly mistreated by the guards because the prison authorities have no restrictions on their behavior because the inspectors of the Prosecutor’s Office do not visit there.

Inmates are also taken advantage of by the companies that provide goods for them because they aren’t allowed to have things brought in by family members outside, therefore they have to buy things from the prison store at an insane markup. For instance, t-shirts costing 20,000 tomans are sold for 90,000 tomans, while trousers costing 30,000 tomans are sold for 130,000 tomans.

Expired and low-quality cigarettes are sold for three times their prices to prisoners.

Iran Human Rights Monitor said: “The catastrophe is that the law enforcement agents who are supposed to enforce the law are actually the ones who violate the law.”

Many inmates only sold alcoholic drinks in the first place because they couldn’t survive on two jobs.

Conditions at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary are horrifically poor with reports of torture, intolerable heat, unsanitary living spaces, severely limited water resources, overcrowding, inadequate food, and denial of medical care by former inmates.

Built to hold drug offenders, it has often been used illegally to imprison activists and dissidents, as well as those held on charges of corruption, forgery, fraud, theft, selling alcoholic drinks, smuggling, and handling stolen goods.

Basic goods, including beds, are so scarce that there is a process called “bed dealing”, where many cannot afford a bed and hundreds of sleep on the floor, even in the bathroom. One prisoner said that inmates pay weekly rent on beds and are “forced to sleep side by side like books in a bookshelf”. Many cannot afford it because they struggle to buy water.

In June, the US state department said the prison was responsible for “extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights”.

Source » iranfocus

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