IranWire sources report that after more than 10 days of nationwide protests in Iran that started after the killing of Mahsa Amini, almost 3,000 people have been taken to Evin Prison.
The detainees are held in a building known as the “Madraseh”, or “School”, and also in Greater Tehran Penitentiary, for interrogation. Many are first-time detainees thoughothers have previously been imprisoned. On Sunday large numbers of their family members gathered outside Evin to await news, and were attacked with tear gas.
The Madreseh is a three-story building with three halls of approximately 150 square meters. Each of its halls is intended to house between 200 and 250 people. Case officers interrogate those being held, often for days in appalling conditions, and in between there are no open-air breaks and just a handful of toilets that they must take turns to use.
The interrogations determine where protesters should be held. Every day detainees are shuttled between Evin and Greater Tehran Pentitentiary, known locally as Fashafouyeh. First-timers tend to be held at Fashafuyeh and those who have been arrested in the past are sent to Evin.
IranWire understands that, as of September 26, there were about 1,430 detainees at Evin Prison. One of them is Milad Arsanjani, who was previously arrested during the November 2019 nationwide protests and sentenced to six years in prison, but eventually released on a pardon.
IranWire also understands that about 1,200 people arrested during the protests have also been detained in Fashafouyeh. Ward 6 has been set aside for use during the current tumult. The building has neither water nor electricity.
Yesterday IranWire also published an audio file sent by Yalda Moayeri, a photojournalist detained last week, describing the conditions there. "Our conditions here are very bad," she said. "There are fights and beatings every day. We have no safety. A crowd of more than a hundred people was thrown into a sports hall without facilities and without ventilation. The condition of the bathrooms and toilets is awful and people are regularly given sedatives. There are only three bathrooms and toilets for this group."
The hall in which Moayeri is being held is approximately 20 meters wide by 80 meters long. On either side are eight additional rooms of 100 square meters each. A kitchen, storeroom and library have been built within the hall, as well as a futsal area, and three toilets to serve the 250-square-meter sports hall, which in normal times ought to accommodate no more than 10 people. The roof is used for open-air breaks.
Yalda Moayeri added that more than 100 detainees are currently being held in this hall with minimal access to the roof and no other ventilation. Moayeri said that, under these conditions, fights are bound to break out between inmates.
The Mousa Barzin Khalifelou has previously stressed to IranWire on IranWire the importance of families and prisoners reporting on their conditions. People must raise the alarm about their loved ones, he said, from the moment of their arrest until their release, especially those who have been jailed for the first time.
Detained protesters are classed as prisoners of conscience, which the Iranian authorities prefer to call "security prisoners". They do not have the right to choose their own lawyer until they are taken before the court - and even then, they can only choose from a list of pre-approved, state-aligned attorneys.
Khalifelou emphasized that during this dangerous period, families can reduce pressure on their loved ones by making their cases public. All those inside Iran who have relatives inside Evin, Greater Tehran or Qarchak Prisons, he said, should also physically attend the sites if possible to follow up on their cases.