By Pooya Stone

A 21-year-old political prisoner was stabbed to death in the notorious Greater Tehran Penitentiary by two inmates who were agents of the authorities on Monday, June 10.

Alireza Shir-Mohammad-Ali, from Naziabad, south Tehran, was stabbed at least 40 times by Hamidreza Shojazadeh, in prison and on death row for murder, and Mohammadreza Khalilzadeh, convicted on drug-related charges, despite the fact that violent criminals are supposed to be kept on separate wards to prisoners of conscience.

However, an informed source said that the two convicts did not work on their own volition and were actually recruited by prison authorities to start a fight in the ward where Shir-Mohammad-Ali and fellow political prisoner Barzan Mohammadi were being held. It is being painted as a clash among inmates, but prison authorities disconnected the phone lines and removed guards from the ward to ensure their plan was carried out.

Shir-Mohammad-Ali was stabbed in the stomach and had his main arteries cut. He died before reaching Firouzabadi Hospital in Shahr-e Ray. Mohammadi was badly wounded but is still alive.

Shir-Mohammad-Ali and Mohammadi went on hunger strike between March 14 and April 16 to demand the separation of prisoners of different categories; something that could well have prevented this attack. They also protested the lack of security, dire living standards, and poor health conditions in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, which is 32 kms south of the capital.

Shir-Mohammad-Ali was arrested in July 2018 and eventually sentenced to 8 years in prison for insulting Regime Founder Ruhollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and for anti-regime propaganda.

The Greater Tehran Penitentiary, which is also known as Fashafouyeh, was originally built as a concentration camp for drug-related convicts. However, the Iranian authorities have sent many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience to exile in this prison.

There have also been numerous accounts of inhuman living conditions in this prison, such as inadequate food, water, shelter, and washing facilities. In additions, political prisoners are often treated violently by the guards or by prisoners instructed by the authorities.

In September 2018, a group of Gonabadi dervishes, a small religious group often targeted by the Iranian authorities, were attacked for holding a sit-in to protest the beating of their wives and relatives in Qarchak Prison.

While political prisoner Soheil Arabi, who is also detained in this prison, has been viciously beaten up by inmates acting on behalf of the authorities a number of times.