State Propaganda Film on Evin Attack “Shameless”
A film clip shown on Iran’s state television denying the well-documented brutal assault on political prisoners at Evin Prison Ward 350 by security guards on April 17, 2014 has been described as “shameless” by the brother of one of the prisoners. The film, broadcast a few days after the attack, claims that no violence was used against the inmates, in direct contradiction to eyewitness accounts detailing grievous injuries to the prisoners.
Ahmad Reza Haeri, the brother of Saeed Haeri, a human rights activist imprisoned at Ward 350, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the families of the political prisoners plan to file an official protest with the supervisory board of the state radio and television organization, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
“This film has caused tremendous distress among the relatives of the political prisoners,” Ahmad said.
The three-minute film, aired on Channel 2’s “20:30” program on April 21, included an interview with Gholam-Hossein Esmaeeli, director of Iran’s Prisons Organization at the time of the assault. He was promoted to director of the Tehran Province Judiciary after the incidents at Ward 350.
“Despite what the head of the Prisons Organization said, [during a subsequent visitation] we saw prisoners with bruises and broken hands and legs,” Ahmad Reza Haeri told the Campaign. “On three occasions during the visitation we had to get an ambulance to take the mothers who were in shock to the hospital.”
In the clip, Esmaeeli boasted about the discovery of mobile phones during the searches that were carried out in Ward 350 and said that the devices were used by the inmates to contact “anti-revolutionary media” abroad.
Prior to the airing of the clip, which was advertised in the state media, Ahmad stated that he and other family members of the prisoners met with various officials to alert them to its staged content. “I told them that these guys will definitely buy some mobile phones… and stack them on the table [for] the cameras. And that’s exactly what they did,” he said.
He added that the families of the political prisoners plan to gather in front of the Prisons Organization’s offices on Saturday April 26 to protest against Esmaeeli’s “lies.”
The families have also called on a number of parliamentarians to send representatives to Evin Prison to investigate the incidents at Ward 350.