An attack in Tehran's women's prison, Shahr-Ray, similar to the attack on prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin prison a week ago, was reported by reliable sources inside Iran.
According to the report, widely published on social media and on the Rowzane News website, on April 27, 2014 all doors to Shahr Ray prison were locked while five men attacked the women in Wards 1 and 2, a 190 square meter section [about 2000 square feet] that houses 240 female prisoners.
The night guard, Mr. Asghar Kolivand, along with four soldiers -- Mohammad Mohamadzade, one simply known as Mr. Tartar and two unnamed -- descended upon the women. They beat them with belts, batons and electric cables. The guard responsible for the ward was mentioned as Sima Boormand. Prison phones were cut off and all doors to the outside remained locked for some time after the attack.
Shahr-Ray prison is where 26 year old Reyhaneh Jabbari -- whom an international campaign is trying to save from being executed -- is being held. Under threat of rape, Jabbari stabbed a man in self-defense and was sentenced to death. The Islamic Republic of Iran, in general, does not recognize self-defense in its courts, especially in cases of rape.
Since late March 2014, the campaign to save Reyhaneh Jabbari has brought attention internationally and even inside Iran, to the corrupt judicial system in the Islamic Republic; its unnaturally high conviction rate; and the recent surge in the number of executions, while at the same time shining a light on the lack of women's rights in a country under strict seventh century Islamic laws.
On April 23, 2014, the United Nations grotesquely elected the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with more than a dozen other repressive regimes -- including Sudan; Mauritania, where slavery is still rampant; Russia; China; Cuba and Turkey -- to top committees responsible for protecting women's rights and overseeing the work of human rights organizations. Other countries elected to a five-year term on the Commission for Women's Rights were Sudan and Pakistan, which, along with Iran, still practice burying women to their waists, then stoning them to death.
This is the second attack this month on prisoners inside Iran. On April 17, 2014, security forces brutally attacked and seriously injured political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin prison.
Last year alone, Iran put 369 people to death, more than any other country except China, according to UN Watch [Vol.487, April 25, 2014].
In a surge of executions that has literally doubled since the election of the "moderate" President Hassan Rouhani, Iran has put to death at least 188, or nearly half that amount, in the first quarter of 2014 alone.
"[T]he condition of human rights has significantly worsened in Iran," according to political scientist and Harvard Scholar, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, with "the increase in the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, the cracking down on oppositional political figures, the mistreatment of political prisoners, arbitrary detention and unfair trials. ... not even keeping the status of human rights similar to that of his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's era."
Editor's Note: Sadly, Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed by hanging on October 25, 2014.