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Human Rights Advocate Battered In Iran's Evin Prison

Iranian human rights activist, Narges Mohammadi, FILE PHOTO.
Iranian human rights activist, Narges Mohammadi, FILE PHOTO.

In a letter sneaked out of prison, prominent Iranian physicist and human rights advocate, Narges Mohammadi has disclosed how the warden of Tehran's infamous prison, Evin, severely battered her.

Evin's warden, Gholamreza Ziayi, forcefully exiled Narges Mohammadi on Wednesday, December 25, to a prison in the city of Zanjan, 339 kilometers (211 miles), northwest of Tehran.

Ziayi, formerly in charge of Rajaei Shahr jail near Tehran, was appointed as Evin's warden in July.

Ms. Mohammadi, 47, is serving a sixteen-year-term for "establishing and running the illegal splinter group LEGAM" (Persian acronym for step by step abolishment of the death penalty).

Earlier on December 21, along with seven inmates, Mohammadi had declared that they would go on hunger strike to commemorate the memory of hundreds of people fallen victim to the heavy-handed response of the Islamic Republic security forces to mid-November protests.

Other female prisoners at Evin joined her in the hunger strike, Mohammadi's husband, Taqi Rahmani says.

Immediately after the hunger strike and holding a sit-in protest behind bars, Mohammadi reveals in her long and detailed letter, "They lured me into the warden's office to meet my attorney. However, with shocking and extreme violence in the presence of an intelligence officer, they told me that I would be exiled to a prison in Zanjan."

Under a barrage of threats and insults, Mohammadi tried to return to Evin's women’s block, but the warden, supported by several men, stopped and dragged her along the corridors.

Struggling to release herself, Mohammadi's hand broke the glass on a door, and started bleeding. Then, the warden and more than twenty men and women surrounded and push her around, and forcefully threw her into an ambulance.

"The Islamic Republic has stolen and looted whatever I had. But I will not let these cruel and power-worshiping men dominate my feelings," Mohammadi has asserts in her letter, adding, "The screams of bereaved mothers, freedom-seeking men, and passionate youth of my homeland will soon join me and strengthen my voice."

However, two days after Ms. Mohammadi's letter was published, the public relations department of Evin prison denied her allegations on Friday.

Dismissing the claim that she was beaten, the Evin statement said, "Ms. Mohammadi was transferred by a judicial order to a prison in her birthplace, city of Zanjan.

Since December 2017, Evin's warden Gholamreza Ziaei has been added to the list of the people sanctioned by Washington for violating human rights.

Meanwhile, Narges Mohammadi has won several prestigious awards, including the Sakharov prize from the American Physical Society's (APS).