Political prisoners being banned from family visits, after speaking out against unlawful restrictions

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By The Free Iranian Staff
Political prisoners: Mohammad Habibi (left) and Dr. Farhad Meisami (right)

The new chief of Evin prison responded to “civil disobedience” of political prisoners Farhad Meisami and Mohammad Habibi by denying their visitation rights.

According to Human Rights groups in Iran, Farhad Meisami and Mohammad Habibi, two political prisoners in Evin prison who have protested the new restrictions imposed on the prisoners by the prison’s new chief, have been banned from receiving visitors.

The two political prisoners have protested imposing of unlawful restrictions at Evin prison.

Farhad Meisami’s mother reported that her son had been transferred from Evin prison to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj.

On Tuesday, October 8, the two political prisoners wrote a complaint letter to “policy makers of Ministry of Justice and Prisons Organization” and demanded an end to unlawful restrictions on prisoners and claimed that they will not abide by prison rules such as participation in daily roll calls and mandatory morning assembly.

Chief Jailer: Gholamreza Ziaei

In their letter they mention some of the restrictions imposed on prisoners since the new chief of Evin prison Gholamreza Ziaei was appointed; restrictions such as limiting visitors for all of the political prisoners, blocking the visits by children and their parents, unlawful ban on receiving the authorized books and magazines and restrictions on phone calls.

Farhad Meisami, a medical doctor, civil rights activist and former editor-in-chief of Andisheh Sazan magazine, has been sentenced to six years in prison and Mohammad habibi, member of teachers’ union has been sentenced to seven and half years in prison. Their letter states “with regards to blatant violation of Executive Statutes of Prisons Organization and other laws of the country regarding the prisoners and also denial of prisoners’ requests for discussing the prison’s issues by the prison’s chief, we do not feel obligated to abide by your arbitrary rules.”

Following the Tweets by Sedigheh Pakzamir, member of Tehran Teachers’ Union, an Iranian human rights group released more details about the restrictions, explaining: “Since Ziaei was appointed as chief of Evin prison, restrictions have been imposed on political prisoners. Other than banning visitors, limiting them to once every two months for political prisoners, he has also banned books and magazines sent to prisoners from their families. He has prohibited political prisoners from participating in the management of the prison’s internal affairs refused to allow anyone of the detainees to be chosen as representative of their ward; which is unlawful. Prisoners are forced to pay their own medical expenses and as a result ailing prisoners with no means cannot be transferred to hospitals.”


Farhad Meisami and Mohammad Habibi began civil disobedience on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. Sixteen other political prisoners in Evin prison have supported them and two of the prisoners, Barzan Mohammadi and Mehdi Meskinnawaz have joined their movement.

According to an informed source, “after one month, none of the prison and judicial authorities have visited neither Farhad Meisami nor Mohammad Habibi, yet they have imposed more restrictions on them in order to force them to end their protest.” The same source reports that as of Saturday, November 9th, Farhad Meisami has been transferred to an unknown location from Evin’s Ward 4.

Alieh Motalebzadeh, photojournalist and women’s rights activist has Tweeted: Dr. #Farhad_Meisami’s mother visits Evin, where it becomes clear that they were transferred him to Rajai-Shahr Prison yesterday.

The families of Meisami and Habibi, have tried to visit them in Evin prison within the last two weeks, but they have not been refused by the prison authorities. Mohammad Habibi’s family was told that as of October 21st on, he has been prohibited from receiving visitors by the prison chief.

Befrore taking charge of Evin prison, Ziaei was chief of Rajai-Shahr prison in Tehran’s suburb of Karaj. Known for exceedingly inhumane conditions for prisoners, Ziaei was also chief of Kahrizak detention center in where protesters detained during the mass street protests in summer 2009, were tortured, raped and killed.

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