January 3, 2015
According to opposition sources, four Sunni prisoners have died in Iran as a result of mistreatment and torture. The prisoners included, Eqbal (Mehdi) Naroui, 23, who was a Sunni muslim and part of Iran’s Baloch minority. Naroui was reportedly held in Zahedan central prison and died as a result of torture during the course of his imprisonment. Farzad Naroui, 40, was also reported to have died in the same prison, after being subject to torture and denied proper medical care. Between December 28th and 29th, Mehdi Naroui, 38, and Gholam Rabbani, 40, also lost their lives because they were denied proper medical treatment.
The deaths illustrate the condition in which political prisoners, including ethnic and religious minorities, are subjected to in the prisons of the Iranian regime. Sunni prisoners in particular continue to face institutional discrimination in Iranian society, and are subjected to torture and mistreatment in Iranian prisons. There are currently dozens of Sunni prisoners in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison, especially in Hall 10 of Ward 4, that have been given death sentences. Many of these death sentences are based on political crimes, based in large part to their beliefs as religious minorities.
Iran continues to persecute and oppress ethnic and religious minorities throughout the country, including Sunni Arabs, Baloch and Kurds. Iranian dissidents continue to report horrific conditions in prisons throughout the country, and the systematic use of torture and denial of medical care against prisoners. The Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) calls on the United States and international community to highlight the repression of minorities in Iran and call for an independent investigation as to the situation of political prisoners incarcerated inside Iran.