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01/19/2021 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM) recently released its 2020 Annual Report documenting the abuse and condition of prisoners in Iran’s notorious prisons. Iran’s treatment of prisoners has long been of major concern for the international community. ICC worked to have Evin Prison sanctioned in 2020.

Iran violates not only international standards of right to life and health of prisoners, but also its own national code as well. According to Iran HRM’s report, one of the major abuses is the failure to separate prisoners based on categories of crimes. Political prisoners and prisoners arrested for their Christian faith are often housed with common and dangerous criminals. Often this is done as an added layer of punishment where they are intentionally placed for targeting. Iran’s own legal mandates require that wards separate such prisoners but there are many reports of this being violated.

Another common threat to prisoners in Iran is the use of solitary confinement for indefinite amounts of time. Linked with this is the denial of treatment. Many prisoners were even tortured or injured prior to their incarceration and were never treated before being placed in jail.

ICC continues to track Iranians imprisoned for their faith. Joseph Shahbazian was an Iranian-Armenian church leader that was detained for several months and received the highest requested bail for any imprisoned Christian, around $150,000. Saheb Zaman Fadaie is currently imprisoned on a six-year sentence who has experience medical neglect. He also was one of two Christians to receive 80 lashes in the past two months. Mohammadreza Omidi Youhan was the other Christian to receive lashes and is currently serving time in internal exile, and previously served time in Iran’s prisons. Ibrahim Firouzi was incarcerated from 2013 to 2019 before being sent into exile. Mary Fatima Mohammadi is a Christian human rights activist sentenced to floggings and has been in and out of Iran’s prisons.

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