By Pooya Stone
Iranian political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has spoken out about the horrific psychological torture that she is suffering in Zanjan Prison, forced to hear and watch the executions of prisoners.
Mohammadi, the former representative and vice president of the League of Human Rights Defenders in Iran told this to her mother, Ozra Bazargan, during a recent visit and Bazargan has relayed her daughter’s words.
She said that Mohammadi sounded sad when she spoke to her and confessed that in the early morning of May 21, when she and some other inmates went to exercise, they heard people screaming and sobbing, which is when they discovered that a man was being hung. The screams and cries did not stop until he was brought down. Mohammadi further said that her cellmate was taken to be hanged just a few days ago.
Mohammadi said: “In 2012, there were more than 15 death row prisoners in our ward. Despite lifting the death penalty for drug-related convicts, there are still women in this ward who are on death row on charges of murder, adultery, etc. I am terrified by the horrific number of executions carried out in a small city like Zanjan. Our society is wounded and in pain. Prisons are like an open wound showing the depth of pain and suffering of our society.”
She then said that, despite having served 10 of her 16-year prison sentence for peaceful anti-death penalty protests and not being convicted of a crime, the regime had purposefully sent her to prison to “witness every moment [of] the implementation of the death penalties [she] opposes” and that she suffers heavy deprivations and sentences for it.
In related news, the regime has increased pressure on women under the pretext of enforcing the mandatory Hijab by saying that they will impose new restrictions on drivers and motorcyclists who let their veil slip while they are driving.
Tehran’s Chief of Police, Hossein Rahimi declared on June 14: Rahimi declared: “The State Security Force (police) in Tehran has received a new mandate to deal with motorcyclists who break the rules. The SSF will deal with offenders during the week, and especially on Thursdays… the Police will not compromise with any immoral behavior.”
For clarification, the Iranian workweek begins on Saturday, making Thursdays the equivalent of Saturday nights in the West.
This followed a threat to Iranian women by Ali Zolghadr, the head of Tehran’s Security Police on June 10, who said that drivers who receive a text message about a woman dropping their veil in their car must “immediately report” to a Security Police center, even if the breach took place in another city. If they fail to, their car can be impounded.