A political prisoner has been sent to a psychiatric hospital as punishment for standing up for inmates’ rights, an audio clip obtained by IranWire has revealed.
Mosayeb Raeisi-Yeganeh sent a voice clip after four days in Aminabad Psychiatric Hospital, where he said the judiciary had sent him without specifying how long he would be held there. In the recording, he also says prison staff said they intended to give him an injection, but they did not inform him what type of medication or drug they planned to give him.
Prior to the transfer, he had been held on Ward 8 at Evin Prison.
In addition to sending political prisoners to psychiatric hospitals, in recent years prison staff have routinely injected prisoners with unspecified drugs and subjected them to electric shocks, or threatened to administer such shocks. The increasing use of these tactics indicates they have become part of a systematic method for cracking down on political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
Mosayeb Raeisi-Yeganeh was first arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents in September 2017 and released on bail two months later. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison on charges of "propaganda against the regime," "insulting the sacred," and "insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic." He starting serving his sentence at Evin in February 2020.
Raeisi-Yeganeh was one of several inmates who wrote to prison officials in August 2020, objecting to a report on state-run television that claimed prisoners were being held in safe, clean environments. In the letter, they outlined the reality for political prisoners, and described the squalor they were forced to live in, as well as prison authorities' failure to protect them from coronavirus.
In his recording, he says judicial authorities ordered him to be transferred to the Abu Reihan ward of Razi Hospital in Aminabad.
The full transcript of the recording, which has been sent to IranWire, follows:
"Greetings to all human beings, regardless of color, race, gender or religion.
I, Mosayeb Raeisi-Yeganeh, nicknamed Mohsen Raeisi, a political prisoner at Evin Prison, Ward 8, Hall 8, am serving my sentence. I've been through it for almost a year. On October 6, 2020, at 10:15 PM, I was informed that I would be sent to the hospital the next day. First I was notified after my phone calls were was cut off, and when the prison guard did not allow me to call to inform my relatives. Second, they did not tell me which hospital. After about an hour, they said it was the Razi Hospital. But which Razi and where, they did not say. Third, at 7:30 in the morning, when I was on my way to the hospital, they said it was Razi Hospital, Department of Neurology, Aminabad. It was also mentioned on the dispatch form that the transfer is for check-up only. When I was taken there and asked why I was there, they said they did not know. They said: “the prosecutor of Branch 1 of District 33 had asked us to hospitalize you.” This time, it was not at my personal expense, but, in order to slander and label me as insane, they offered to generously pay from the treasury of the Prison Organization. Three officers took me to a room on the Abu Reihan ward, with handcuffs, legcuffs and threats from the hospital guards.
"Last month, despite the outbreak of coronavirus in prisons, the Prisons Organization refused to test for coronavirus, refused to give out disinfectant and masks, and to follow the medical organization's protocols. About an hour after I was in the ward, I called for my doctor, who did not have sufficient reasons to hospitalize me and prescribe medication, and they agreed to discharge me. But due to sabotage and the lack of cooperation from the Prisons Organization to release me, I had to spend four days in a dire and completely inhumane situation. Seeing scenes in the hospital at the time of the coronavirus crisis added to my grief. There were minimal medical facilities and equipment, or even basic items for personal use, like food containers and glasses. During these four days my hands and feet were chained to the bed, and if I protested, I was threatened by the staff, who told me they would take me to an isolated room and administer shocks, a small two-by-two-meter room with a bed to chain the patients to.
"Although I was discharged, I did not have the right to make calls and the prison staff would not cooperate with the hospital for my discharge. I could never have imagined such a situation even in my nightmares: suffering patients, with some staff taking advantage of them to do cleaning work with the promise of three cigarettes. Most of them were not feeling well and were looking for cigarettes.
"Their world and their aspirations were so small and touching that a pack of cigarettes brought a world of joy and happiness to them. They were allowed a bath once a week. They were completely naked, and the three people in charge of washing them took one minute to wash each of them. Enduring this period of imprisonment, in spite of all these problems, was not so painful and worrying. I did not allow them to inject me. But I had heard about what happened to [Gonabadi dervish and political prisoner] Mr. Behnam Mahjoubi from the staff and that worried me. There is no longer any guarantee that we political prisoners will be released or even return home alive.
“We six representatives for the political prisoners who were at the sit-ins and the strikes and the protests against the conditions of the prisons, were all deceived in some way. Mr. Azimzadeh and Mr. Mousivand were sent to Rajai Shahr Prison and I was sent to the hospital. Even now, despite having a coronavirus test from the hospital, we have to spend 14 days in prison, in quarantine with dozens of people coming and going every day. Some time ago, Mr. Shams left here after testing positive for coronavirus. There is no guarantee for our health. The responsibility of our lives is with the Islamic Republic; we embrace death with open arms, but will never remain silent.
"With hope and good health to all political prisoners."