Mental Torture is Common in Iranian Prisons

Friday, April 25, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

iran-christianTEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- Life for minorities in Iran is deteriorating as the Islamic Republic continues to restrict religious non-Muslims by closing their churches, through mass arrests with lengthy sentences, or even exile to remote locales, according to Mohabat News.

"The situation is really tough for religious minorities, especially Christian converts, in Iran," Hassan Saddat-Barikani, a Christian convert who was in Evin prison before being conditionally released on bail, told Mohabat News. "It even reached the point that churches were pressured to require us to present our ID cards and give our address and phone number before entering the church building. It was obviously a government requirement. Some churches were forced to cooperate with the government, or the government would intensify its pressure on the churches ..."

And then there's the pressure of prison.

"In Iranian prisons, mental torture is nothing short of physical torture. Interrogators ask questions about the most personal family matters just to harass you mentally.

"We could usually shower once a week, but sometimes that would not happen ... You would call on the guards to escort you to the washroom, and they would often ignore you, whether on purpose or by order. Add these to the difficulties of solitary confinement. Even the most basic human needs are not provided for in ward 209 of Evin prison".

And though Saddat-Barikani was free on bail, a court in Iran had seized a portion of his assets and prohibited him from working, so his family is seeking asylum in Turkey.