Freedom Messenger - According to human rights activists in Qom, the Central Qom Prison known as Langeroud Prison which is situated 10 kilometers from the old Qom- Kashan Road, has very bad conditions because of the large numbers of prisoners with limited facilities and the insulting treatment of prisoners by prison guards
According to this report, more than 4,000 prisoners are jailed here which is three times more than its actual capacity. This issue has led to immoral and unhygienic conditions in this prison. The low food quality in addition to the existence of lice and ticks in the sleeping area has made conditions in this prison very hard. Prisoners infected with HIV and hepatitis are kept in one place with other prisoners and they do not receive any kind of medical attention. Existing immoral deeds which has reportedly turned into a source of income for some prisoners also increases prison problems. This issue takes place more in the Youth Cellblock where prisoners under 18 are kept.
Prison officials’ arbitrary and illegal treatment of prisoners who commit wrongs has doubled the inhuman conditions. There were reports that in some cases, prison guards tied prisoners to light poles in the prison yard and kept them in the freezing cold weather after splashing them with cold water.
According to reports, in the past few months about 15 prisoners convicted with drug related and other charges were executed in the Langeroud Prison. In addition to these prisoners, there are reportedly 80 to 120 prisoners on death row. The latest executions occurred in November when two prisoners were executed in the prison courtyard after their drug related death sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court.
According to this report, prison officials have started building a new area for execution in this prison to carry out executions in a more ‘mechanized’ way. A number of prisoners, who were reportedly forced to work as construction workers for this new execution ward, have refused to help build this area.
Degrading and immoral body searches
According to Qom human rights activists, all prisoners are improperly searched on arrival under the pretext of preventing narcotics from coming into prison. Prisoners are all searched regardless of their [so-called] ‘crimes’. In these searches, instead of using sniffer dogs and electronic devices, they violate the prisoners’ dignity by conducting [immoral] body searches. Political prisoners are insulted and degraded under this pretext and those who protest these conditions are dealt with by officials.
The Suite or Guantanamo
According to this report, in some parts of Langeroud Prison in Qom, there are 2 by 3 meter rooms called suites which are used for death row prisoners and dangerous criminals. It is also used as a punishment for those deemed to deserve more pressure. In these rooms which are known as Guantanamo by prisoners, prisoners are denied fresh air time and light. Sometimes, up to 15 prisoners are put in one room and they are forced to sleep on their sides packed next to each other. Each prisoner is given half of the food portion of other prisoners and less blankets. There is an open toilet in the corner of each room, separated from the room with a 30 cm wall. This toilet is also used for bathing. This has made conditions very unsanitary in the suites. (Iran Press News, Neday Sabze Azadi – Nov. 23, 2011)