Iranian prison chief issues apology after hacked videos show abuse of prisoners

Iranian prison chief issues apology after hacked videos show abuse of prisoners

Iran’s prison authority boss has issued an apology for “bitter events” that were recorded in Tehran’s Evin jail. Footage obtained by hackers shows a detainee being beaten and dragged around the facility.

In a rare admission of human rights abuses, on Tuesday the head of the Iranian prison authority accepted responsibility for the shocking events recorded by the hacking group, Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice).

“Regarding the pictures from Evin prison, I accept responsibility for such unacceptable behavior and pledge to try to prevent any repeat of these bitter events and to deal seriously with the wrongdoers,” Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi, head of Iran’s prisons, said in a tweet. 

He directed his apology to “God Almighty,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the people of Iran, and “honorable prison guards.” He added that the efforts of good prison guards would not be ignored.

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The jail in question, Evin prison, has long been criticized by Western powers and rights groups, and was blacklisted by Washington in 2018 for “serious human rights abuses.” Detainees are mostly held on security charges. It has also been reported that prisoners of dual nationality are also held at the jail. 

Graphic footage recorded by the prison’s security cameras shows guards beating prisoners, while one is dragged around the facility. In a shocking scene, a cleric appears to step over a collapsed inmate who was lying prostrate on the ground. 

British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, was held at the Evin jail until November last year when she was put under house arrest. She denies charges of undermining the Iranian state and spying against it.

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