Former political prisoners spoke about Iranian prisons at a clubhouse “Reminder of Medical Treatment and Psychiatric Drugs” session on Wednesday, saying that vital medical treatment is denied and psychotropic drugs are often prescribed to prisoners who are often held in solitary confinement.
“This is on purpose,” said human rights activist Narges Mohammadi. “The prisoners come out of solitary confinement in the general ward with a handful of psychotropic drugs [prescribed to them]. ”Mohammadi has been in prison since 1998 for“ propaganda against the regime ”and“ acts against national security ”and has been released again.
Mohammadi and other attendees said the interrogators administered psychiatric dependency drugs to the detainees, which they later withheld, made them commute between psychiatric hospitals such as the Aminabad Psychiatric Hospital in South Tehran and solitary confinement, and kept bright lights on in their cells around the clock They deny drugs and treatment as a form of torture. Several participants spoke of their own suicide attempts or of other prisoners.
This was the second clubhouse session in a series on prison abuse in Iran by Mohammadi, who was nominated by Norway Amnesty International for the Nobel Peace Prize for her defense of human rights. In the first session in late May, activists spoke about physical and verbal sexual harassment and abuse in prison.
Arash Sadeghi, a university student who was released in May after serving a sentence since 2103 for “propaganda against the regime,” “insulting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei,” and “acting against national security,” said he was Depakine Epilepsy drug, denied. which had seriously affected his condition. “I was vomiting all the time, I was dizzy and I could hardly walk,” Sadeghi told the audience. Sadeghi was also denied cancer treatment, which caused serious complications including infection.
Sadeghi told the clubhouse session that prison doctors prescribed sedatives for prisoners upon arrival and sometimes withheld them later. “I’ve seen many cases of suicide in Ward A-2 [of Tehran’s Evin Prison, run by the Revolutionary Guards]”he said, adding that an inmate told him that the prescribed pills had been stopped abruptly.” This caused severe anxiety, headaches, nausea and palpitations, which led him to attempt suicide. “
Filmmaker Maryam Ebrahimvand, the was arrested in 2018, said at the meeting that she attempted suicide in prison and was held in prison for two and a half years without a sentence.
“The prison psychotherapist had prescribed sedatives for me that he said I could use if necessary,” she said. “I was taking all the pills at once as the pressure on me and my family increased.” Ebrahimvand said that while she was being treated at the hospital, prison authorities asked her to sign a letter saying that she would not attempt suicide, but accidentally poisoned myself.
Another clubhouse attendant, journalist Saeed Hafezi, who was arrested in Abadan, Khuzestan province in 2016, said he was given pills in solitary confinement immediately after his arrest.
“I wasn’t aware of the time,” he said. “After counting the meals, I thought I’d been there for a month. I was told that my wife would visit me. ” [but before that] They cut my wrist and kept giving me tissue paper to wipe off while we were filming, “said Hafezi, who lives in Turkey.” They told my family I wanted to kill myself, but they lied. My family told me that I was detained for 47 days after my release. “