Reza Mohammad Hosseini, a political prisoner in Rajaei Shahr prison, has said in an audio file sent exclusively to IranWire that the Iran-Iraq war veteran Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi had been transferred back to the prison's quarantine ward.
Mortazavi lost a limb during the war and prison authorities have reportedly moved him to the new location without his prosthetic leg.
Mortazavi has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for criticizing Iran’s government and forming an Internet group called Homeland Veterans. The authorities had shuffled him between prisons numerous times before returning him to the unsanitary quarantine ward of Rajaei Shahr. The move came after a letter by Mortazavi to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in which he criticized the Iranian government, was published.
Hosseini and several other of Mortazavi’s fellow inmates have issued a statement calling attention to the situation of this political prisoner.
"Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi," it read, "a veteran of the war for this country, was arrested by security forces in front of his wife in June 2019 and imprisoned in Isfahan. He was sentenced to one year in prison. Then he was deported to Evin Prison and then to Rajaei Shahr, a faraway place of torture, without being given his prosthetic leg and without being able to contact his wife, Zahra Nazvari, who was also sentenced to two years in prison on trumped-up charges of insulting Khamenei.
“After spending this year's New Year [March 20, the first day of spring] in dreadful cells and torture chambers, each one worse than the other, he was transferred to Ward 4 of Hall 10, but was still deprived of his rights, such as receiving a visitor and meeting his wife. Therefore, in protest of the repeated crimes against himself and his people, he wrote a critical letter to the person who approves of all these crimes and oppressions, Ali Khamenei. After the letter was published, he was deceitfully and falsely taken out of the ward under the pretext of fixing his prosthetic leg, and once again deported to a non-standard quarantine ward, where neither the separation of crimes nor hygiene is observed, without being notified of his charges.”
The “separation of crimes” regulation calls for prisoners to be segregated from those convicted of other offences – meaning that in principle a political prisoner should not be held with violent offenders or other criminals. The principle is often disregarded as in Mortazavi’s case.
"A number of [Mortazavi’s] fellow inmates protested against these inhumane and illegal acts, but prison officials, as usual, blamed higher authorities and refused to respond,” the statement continued.
"Now we are concerned about the physical condition of this inmate and our fellow human beings in that unfavorable situation. We ask all people of good conscience to not be indifferent to this oppression, just as Mr. Abdul Rasoul Mortazavi did not remain silent in face of the oppression of his people and homeland.
"His first letter [to the authorities] read: ‘You think I'll stay in prison for years and regret what I have done. You threw my wife in jail for not cooperating with the government and for refusing to make false confessions, so that I would break, but your efforts were in vain. The Islamic Republic must go; today, not tomorrow.’"