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ICC Note: Christian prisoners held in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison are singled out because of their faith and thus undergo appalling human rights abuses. They often are incarcerated within one of the secret wards of the prison which is run by the Intelligence Ministry, where they are tortured for information about the underground church network. US sanctions towards Evin Prison puts the Iranian regime on notice that human rights abuses there will not be tolerated.                 

06/16/2018 Iran (Mission Network News) –   The United States recently slapped Iranian groups and officials with several sanctions meant to punish human rights abuses. Iran’s notorious Evin Prison was among those sanctioned by the US Treasury Department.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated, “Treasury is taking action to hold the Iranian regime accountable for ongoing human rights abuses, censorship, and other despicable acts it commits against its own citizens.”

Prisoners held at Evin Prison are subjected to brutal treatment such as sexual assault, physical assault, and electric shock.

Mike Ansari with Heart4Iran explains, “Evin Prison is one of the world’s most brutal prisons. It houses about 15,000 inmates including killers, rapists, drug dealers, and thieves. It additionally holds journalists, intellectuals, politicians, and dissidents. During the first decade following the Iranian Revolution, thousands of political prisoners were systematically executed there.

“There are also Christian prisoners held captive because of their faith. For years, human rights activists and advocacy groups have been trying to get the international community to put diplomatic pressure on Iran to ease these human rights violations.”

Iranian authorities are livid at these new sanctions following the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has even restarted the manufacture of centrifuges in response.

Also, Ansari says, “They will continue to divert national resources that [are] rightfully entitled to the people and continue to fund and expand their influence in the region. We see that happening in Syria, in Iraq, and in the neighboring countries.”

As for the fallout at Evin Prison, it will be difficult to know what happens behind closed doors. However, it’s not hard to speculate how these sanctions on Evin Prison could bring backlash down on inmates — especially those deemed sympathetic to the West, such as Christians and political prisoners.

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For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org