Concurrent with the growing number of protests in Iran, the number of political prisoners is also increasing. The country’s prisons are now filled with men and women who have decided to oppose the regime, just as they were in the early years of this regime.
Dissidents argue that these brave political prisoners in the regime’s medieval prisons demonstrate the regime’s true fear while fighting every day to avoid being overthrown by the people.
Behbahan Prison is one of Khuzestan province’s most notorious prisons. Many young people detained during the recent two-year Behbahan protests are being held in this prison in difficult and uncertain conditions:
Behbahan prison houses nine political prisoners:
- Hamid Champour, 22, has been imprisoned in Behbahan prison for five months on charges of regime propaganda and anti-regime graffiti.
- Ebrahim Abu Ali, 31, has been imprisoned in Behbahan prison for 11 months on the charge of regime propaganda.
- Dorostkar, 35, has been imprisoned in Behbahan for one month on charges of spreading lies and propaganda against the regime.
- Meysam Kazemi, 35, has been detained for one month in Behbahan Prison on charges of propaganda and plotting against the regime.
- Mohammad Khalili, 30, has been held in Behbahan Prison for three months on charges of regime propaganda and acting against national security.
- Gholam Tayebi, 32, and Ali Tayebi, 32, have been detained for more than three months on charges of propaganda and subversion of the regime.
- Mohammad Hossein Ansarifar, 29, whose family members were killed in Behbahan in November 2019, has been detained in Behbahan Prison for six months on charges of having links with the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran)) and spreading anti-regime propaganda. He has a heart condition.
- Abdollah Monsefi, 45, a geotechnical engineer with a bachelor’s degree in political science, has been imprisoned in Behbahan for two months on charges of supporting the PMOI and spreading anti-regime propaganda.
One of Iran’s most dangerous prisons
Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz is also one of Iran’s most dangerous prisons. According to a recently released political prisoner, “one day of imprisonment and solitary confinement in Ahvaz prison is equivalent to 100 days in Evin prison.”
Despite the appalling and inhumane conditions in this prison, those imprisoned there refused to cooperate with the regime and disobeyed the Ministry of Intelligence’s demands for cooperation.
The following are the names of some political prisoners detained at Ahvaz’s Sheiban Prison:
- Shahid Qanavati, 25, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for assisting the PMOI and acting against national security. He has been imprisoned in Ahvaz Central Prison’s ward five for over 40 months. Under torture, prison officials broke his wrist.
- Massoud Masoudi, 48, was arrested on charges of PMOI support and anti-regime propaganda and has now served more than eight years of his sentence.
- Hossein Momken, 50, has been imprisoned in Ahvaz Central Prison for more than 11 years for supporting the PMOI and acting against national security.
- Mehran Gharabaghi, a 30-year-old student, was arrested on December 19, 2019, for allegedly supporting the PMOI, insulting Khamenei, and endangering national security. He was first transferred to Behbahan Prison, and then to Ahvaz’s Sheiban Prison. The regime added fabricated charges against him, including ‘Corruption on Earth,’ which carries the death penalty.
- Amin Moradi, a 35-year-old prisoner from Behbahan, has been held in Ahvaz Security Ward 5 for more than two months on charges of regime propaganda.
- Ayub Porkar, 70, of Tehran, is a retired telecommunications worker. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for belonging to the PMOI and spreading anti-national security propaganda. Ayub has been in exile for 11 years and has spent five years in Behbahan prison. Since 2014, he has been imprisoned in Ahvaz Central Prison’s security ward five.
- Gholamhossein Kalbi, 60, is one of the country’s most incarcerated political prisoners. Mr. Kalbi was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his involvement with the PMOI. He has been incarcerated for 27 years.
- Hadi Hakim Shafaei, 40, a language lecturer at the University of Tehran and a graduate of Bojnourd University in North Khorasan, was sentenced to two years in prison for regime propaganda.