Reacting to an article published in the Iran official daily newspaper describing the situation of political prisoners as favorable, young political prisoners, Saba Kord Afshari and Yasamin Aryani, sent an open letter from notorious Evin Prison, revealing tough prison conditions.
On 17 January, 2019, the official Iran daily newspaper claimed that “The security (political) convicts have no problems and are in the best situation in terms of phone calls, family visits and using medical facilities.”
Yasamin Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari stated in their open letter that, “All of these claims are unfounded and false.”
They mentioned a few examples, including the fact that “the women’s ward of Evin Prison did not have a telephone for many years, and the only way the prisoners could contact their family was a weekly 20-minutes visit. After a series of follow-ups, a telephone was finally brought in the ward; the activities included a 20-day hunger strike by some of the loved ones. Despite the efforts we made, it did not work out, and instead of 60 minutes of telephone calls per week, each person only has 30 minutes, that means only three days a week for 10 minutes.”
They then pointed out the visitation ban of two political prisoners Golrokh Iraee and Arash Sadeghi and that they have been uninformed about each other for 10 months. Yasamin Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari also noted that women political prisoners had to go on a hunger strike for access to dental care after a year of follow-up.
In part of their letter referring to political prisoner, Maryam Akbari Monfared, Yasamin Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari wrote, “According to the law of prisons, every prisoner is granted a three to five day leave every two months, while there are those here after 10 years of their imprisonment have not been granted leave despite having the leaving conditions.”
In the end, they pointed out the shortage of food distribution, which has had a harmful effect on the female political prisoners.
Saba Kord Afshari and Yasamin Aryani were among five young women who have been sentenced to spend time in prison for participating in protests last August.
Yasaman Aryani and Saba Kord Afshari are sentenced to one year.
Reports, at the time indicated that Yasaman Aryani, 23, was arrested after helping an old woman who was thrown to the ground by anti-riot units.
Right after their arrest, the young detainees posted a message on their experience and calling for help via a cellphone from inside a State Security Force van as they were being taken to jail.
Thousands of enraged protesters poured into the streets of several Iranian cities for several days in early August 2018, protesting the country’s faltering economy, skyrocketing inflation, hardship and hiking prices.
The protesters soon openly chanted against the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and other clergy who have been ruling Iran for four decades.
Reportedly, dozens of protesters were placed behind bars in Evin and fifty female detainees in Qarchak prison, which is described as the largest prison for women in Iran