Political prisoners Atena Daemi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee were beaten by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran’s Evin Prison and transferred to Gharchak Prison in the city of Varamin, 37 miles south of the capital.
“Atena called us this morning [January 25] and told us what happened,” Daemi’s mother, Masoumeh Nemati, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). “She said that at 6:30 in the afternoon on January 24, agents came to theWomen’s Ward and told her and Golrokh that they need to come with them to the prison’s office in connection with new charges.”
“But the two of them were instead taken to Ward 2-A controlled by the Revolutionary Guards and one of the female guards tried to beat them, but she was stopped by other agents who said they did not want to beat Atena. But then five agents came and attacked my daughter and Golrokh and beat them up. Then at 9:30 at night they were taken to Gharchak Prison.”
According to Nemati, Daemi and Iraee had been ordered to appear at Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court in Evin Prison in early January 2018 for allegedly insulting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and reciting a political poem in prison. But the two refused, stating they had not been summoned in writing—the proper legal procedure.
In a letter to Asma Jahangir, the UN special rapporteur for the human rights situation in Iran, Nemati detailed the physical abuse and unannounced transfer of her daughter.
“They have destroyed the best years of Atena’s youth by giving her a heavy sentence for the crimes of defending children and women’s rights as well as fighting against capital punishment,” wrote Nemati on January 25, 2018. “But for the Iranian judiciary, this is not enough. They also want to take away her and her family’s peace of mind every single day.”
Since November 2016 Daemi has been serving a seven-year prison sentence for the charges of meeting the families of political prisoners, criticizing the Islamic Republic of Iran on Facebook and condemning the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners in Iran.
Iraee, an accountant, began serving a six-year prison sentence in October 2016 for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state,” primarily for writing an unpublished story about stoning that was confiscated during a raid of her home by the Revolutionary Guards. The raid was initially organized against Iraee’s husband, civil rights activist Arash Sadeghi, who is serving a 19-year sentence.
On July 8, 2017, Daemi and Iraee wrote a joint letter describing Evin Prison after foreign ambassadors were given a staged tour of certain sections of the facility without visiting any political prisoners.
“Did they tell you about unsanitary conditions and women’s health? Or about the conditions inside the clinic where they prescribe wrong medications? Or about using sanctions and budget cuts as an excuse for the lack of disinfectants and cleaning material?” wrote the activists.
“Have they told you that for religious reasons, male prison doctors do not check female prisoners or give them injections and blood pressure tests? Have they told you there is not even one female nurse to carry out these tasks? Do you know how many hundreds or thousands of inmates suffer from kidney problems because of the prison’s unhealthy water?” asked the political prisoners.