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Iranian Women Political Prisoners Kept In 'Intolerable Conditions'

The letter has been sent to several senior Iranian officials, including the head of the judiciary system, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani (far right).
The families of female political prisoners recently transferred to a strict prison have written to the head of Iran's Islamic Human Rights Commission, Mohammad Hassan Ziaeefar, asking him to immediately address the jail's "intolerable conditions," RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The letter, published on on May 8, says the lives of 600 women prisoners recently transferred to the Gharchak prison in a southern Tehran suburb are at risk.

It says they are kept in a hall without beds or access to basic washing facilities and sanitation and claims prison officials refuse to provide them with food and water on a regular basis. It says when the prisoners complain about the conditions they are beaten.

It is not clear why the women were moved to Gharchak.

Several senior Iranian officials, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani and Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, were sent copies of the letter, which ends with the rhetorical question: "Is what is happening at this prison the 'Islamic human rights' you promised?"

Abdolkarim Lahiji, the Paris-based vice president of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, told Radio Farda that the condition of political prisoners in Iran is "catastrophic."

He added that the authorities first completely isolate political prisoners by denying them access to their families or placing them in solitary confinement, and then exert every kind of pressure to make them meet their demands.

Read more in Persian here