Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] detailed abuses against female prisoners [press release] committed by Iran officials on Thursday and called on the government to investigate the alleged mistreatment that prompted a group of prisoners to go on a hunger strike. The group of women, being held in Evin prison [JURIST news archive], claim to have been subjected to degrading searches that resulted in personal belongings being confiscated. They began a hunger strike in an attempt to ensure this type of treatment ends and in hopes of getting their property returned. AI called on Iran to investigate the prisoners' claims. Further, AI reaffirmed the prisoners' rights to adequate medical care throughout their hunger strike, which they plan on continuing until they receive their property and an apology.
Prisoner and human rights have consistently been a concern in Iran. Last month, 10 prisoners were executed [JURIST report] despite pleas from human rights groups. Also in October a UN official released a report indicating that the government of Iran is torturing human rights activists [JURIST report] and threatening the activists' families with rape or death. In a report to the UN General Assembly, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed declared that human rights activists in Iran are being subjected to beatings, mock hangings, sleep deprivation and threats that their family members will be killed or raped. Also in October the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) urged Iran [JURIST report] to halt all executions because the government has failed to provide the accused with fair trials and due process of law.