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Anti-riot guards storm political prisoners’ ward in northwest Iran prison

Urmia Central Prison in northwest Iran
Urmia Central Prison in northwest Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, September 16, 2020—Reports indicate that more than 20 members of an anti-riot guards unit in Urmia Central Prison, located in northwest Iran, stormed the political prisoners’ ward at 1 pm on Tuesday, September 15. This attack followed protests by prisoners over poor conditions in their ward and constant power and water outages. The raiding prison guards attacked the inmates with ruthless force and ransacked the political prisoners’ belongings under the pretext of a “routine inspection.”

The inmates were seen defending themselves by throwing glasses and doing their best to stand up to the attacking guards unit. Six prison guards and 15 members of an anti-riot unit participated in this horrific and unprovoked attack that continued until 4 pm in the afternoon.

The anti-riot guards unit, along with counter-intelligence agents led by an individual known as Mohammadi, an inspections officer by the name of Azar-Nia, the prison’s financial deputy Nouri, and prison warden Sohrabi entered the political prisoners’ ward and began ruthlessly attacking the inmates.

The prisoners were defending themselves throughout the three-hour attack and in the face of the heavily armed attackers. Nouri and another individual by the name of Karbalaie, in charge of prison security, intended to transfer political prisoner Ahmad Tamuie to solitary confinement. However, other prisoners were able to show quick reaction and prevent them from doing so.

A number of the political prisoner were injured during this attack and all the ward’s doors and windows were broken. Reports indicate that following the attack the anti-riot guards unit remained ready outside the prison and ready for another possible attack under the pretext of quelling unrest.

An informed source says all 48 political prisoners detained in this ward began protesting this vicious attack, refused to eat lunch and dinner on Tuesday, and have launched a hunger strike. The lives of many of these prisoners are in danger.

The Iranian Resistance emphasizes that regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi are responsible for the health and safety of political prisoners across Iran. The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is calling on the United Nations and all international human rights organizations to take swift action to save the lives of political prisoners in Iran, send an international fact-finding mission to visit Iran’s prisons and meet with the inmates, especially political prisoners.