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Iranian Political Prisoners Transferred To Dangerous Prison

At least 11 Iranian political prisoners have been transferred to a prison outside of Tehran known for its harsh conditions.

According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI), Mohammad Pour-Abdollah and at least 10 other detainees considered by human rights organizations to be political prisoners were recently moved to the Ghezel Hesar prison in the city of Karaj, about 20 kilometers west of Tehran.

Hadi Ghaemi, ICHRI executive director and spokesman, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda on April 26 that in recent months there has been increased pressure on political prisoners arrested after Iran's controversial June 2009 presidential election.

Ghaemi added that Iran's chief prosecutor, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, recently said that if political prisoners did not "recant" they would not be permitted any of the rights normally given to prisoners such as temporary leave and family visits.

Ghaemi said that the prisoners who had been transferred to Ghezel Hesar prison were placed with dangerous inmates who have committed violent crimes. He added that the living conditions at the prison were "deplorable."

U.S.-based political analyst Ali Afshari told RFE/RL it had been a long time since political prisoners were taken to the Ghezel Hesar prison.

He said many of those who were kept in the prison in the 1980s said afterward it was one of the worst experiences of their time in jail.

In mid-March, Iranian state television reported 14 deaths and 33 injuries after a clash between prisoners and guards at Ghezel Hesar. But other sources said there were as many as 150 casualties.

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