The UN’s Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners states, “Except for those limitations that are demonstrably necessitated by the fact of incarceration, all prisoners shall retain the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
It is clear from the above testimonies, which reflect the experiences of numerous prisoners over an ex- tended period of time, that these rights are being systematically violated in the Women’s Ward at Evin Prison.
Moreover, according to prisoner testimony, prison and judicial of cials were noti ed about a number of these violations through repeated group letters sent from the inmates of the Women’s Ward.
A former inmate said:
The group letters [we wrote] were about the issue of [denied] access to telephone calls and the issue of the infirmary’s dispensing the wrong medications, as well as the inappropriate handling [of the inmates] by female prison guards during transfers. The letters were addressed to the Prosecutor Mr. [Jafari] Dolatabadi, the Head Warden, and the Head of the Intelligence Unit.
Iran’s Judiciary, headed by Sadegh Amoli Larijani, is responsible for the Islamic Republic’s prisoners and the conditions under which they are incarcerated. As such, the Judiciary should be held account- able for the violations of international and Iranian law in the Women’s Ward and it should take direct responsibility for immediately addressing these violations.
As the prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Mehrangiz Kar wrote in a September 16, 2010 article:49
The executive regulations of “State Prisons and Security and Corrective Measure Organization” which were published…on December 14, 2005 after being approved by the Judiciary’s head, make the Judiciary the sole body responsible for responding to the complaints by prisoners, lawyers and prisoners’ families… These regulations stress the country’s Judiciary as the only authority responsible for the life, health, security and, on the whole, human dignity of prisoners.
Although the rights of prisoners are predicted in the law, the individuals who should enact and protect these rights do not believe in them and consider them as privileges…the Judiciary shrinks from performing the responsibilities that are entrusted to it…. This is the people’s right to demand that the Judiciary be accountable.