Thirty-Three Female Prisoners Demand Apology From Evin Prison Chief in A Letter
Friday 2 November 2012
Change for Equality: According to the website Kalameh, 33 women currently serving their prison terms in Evin prison have written an open letter to the Chief of Evin Prison in Tehran, demanding an apology and acknowledgment of wrong doing in relation to a violent physical search, harassment of prisoners and search of the premises on October 31, 2012. Nine women have gone on hunger strike to protest his treatment, bringing the number of women prisoners on hunger strike at Evin to 10, including Nasrin Sotoudeh who had started a hunger strike on the 17th of October to protest irregular visits with family and a travel ban placed on her 12 year old daughter. The translated text of the letter written signed by all 33 political prisoners at Evin prison, appears below, courtesy of Banooye Sabz.
33 Female Political Prisoners Demand an Apology from the Head of Evin Prison Following an Aggressive Raid on Female Ward
November 1st 2012 - [Kaleme] 33 female political prisoners behind bars at Evin prison have written an open letter to the head of Evin prison. The letter comes on the heals of a hunger strike launched by 9 female political prisoners protesting the highly unusual search and desecration and harassment of female political prisoners at the hands of prison guards during a recent raid of the women’s ward.
The complete content of the letter as provided to Kaleme is as follows:
To Mr. Rashidi, the head of Evin Prison,
Greetings. We would like to inform you that on Tuesday morning of October 30th, 2012, a large number of female agents arrived at Evin’s female ward with the intent to conduct an inspection. Let us assume [for the sake of argument] that we would be able overlook the fact that the apparent contention was over a number of MP3 CDs found in the female ward; CDs that contained music and language courses and were hidden as the result of the unfortunate banning of such items, leaving us with no other recourse but to hide them. Let us assume for a moment that we could also overlook the fact that we were deprived of our one hour a week access to fresh air when we were unnecessarily detained while the inspection of the ward was taken place. It goes without saying, however, that the brutal behavior by some agents during the bodily searches of the female prisoners cannot and will not be forgiven, for this violent and obvious act of aggression and desecration is so reprehensible that putting pen to paper to describe it renders one ashamed and disgraced.
Given the existence of a myriad of security cameras watching our every move and the restrictions imposed upon prisoners regarding what is allowed to be entered into the ward, not to mention the modern, electronic tools available for conducting bodily searches at minimum in a respectable manner, we are at a loss for words regarding why prison authorities have resorted to such insulting behavior.
Clearly moving forward, the female political prisoners will not allow such unusual and degrading inspections to take place. To this end, we the signatories urgently demand an apology from the authorities responsible for such an act. We further demand that the authorities in question ensure that such an act is not repeated and request that the items confiscated be returned either to the female political prisoners or to their respective family members.
Faezeh Hashemi, Mahboubeh Karami, Nasim Soltan Beygi, Mahsa Amrabadi, Raheleh Zakaiii, Manijeh Najam Araghi, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Leva Khanjani, Shiva Nazarahari, Ladan Mostoufi Maab, Jila Baniyaghoub, Mitra Zahmati, Mahvash Shahriyari, Hakimeh Shokri, Jila Karamzadeh, Shabnam Madadzadeh, Kefayat Malek Mohammadi, Maryam Akbari Monfared, Kobra Banazadeh, Nazanin Deyhami, Faran Hesami, Fariba Kamal Abadi, Behnaz Zakeri, Motehareh Bahrami, Negareh Haeri, Sedigheh Moradi, Soghra Gholamnejad, Reyhaneh Haj Ebrahim Dabagh, Noushin Khadem, Maryam Jalili, Bahareh Hedayat, Mahboubeh Mansouri, Basma Aljabouri