A Report from the Fifth Ward of the Vakilabad Women’s Prison in Mashhad


Source: http://goo.gl/JFVKAG

Translation by Iran Press Watch

Saturday, July 12, 2014


HRANA News- The fifth ward of the women’s prison of the central prison of Mashhad, in Vakilabad (1), is designated for female prisoners of conscience. The ward consists of one room which is approximately 30 square meters, including medical services and a bathroom, and only Baha’i prisoners are placed there; at present there are 6 prisoners there.

According to HRANA, the Human Rights Activist News Agency of Iran, 5 prisoners have all been sentenced to 5 years in prison and one other person to four years. They have all been charged with acting against national security and spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic under Articles 499 and 500 of the Iranian Constitution by promoting the Baha’i Faith and participating in its activities.

The prison officials treat inmates in this ward with prejudice. The prisoners are given one hour in the morning for exercise in the gym and one and a half hour in the afternoon to go outside for fresh air, and then for the remainder of the day they are locked in their cell.

These prisoners are denied the rights of other prisoners such as attending cultural classes, language learning, seminars, computer use, and other rights. They aren’t allowed access to the prison library, to meet or to communicate with other women prisoners, and during the day, in order to use the gymnasium or spend time outdoors, the rest of the female prisoners have to be dismissed from these places first. They are kept in complete isolation so that they cannot interact or communicate with other prisoners, and their condition in the prison is kept unknown to the other prison inmates.

If there is an accident, the prison officials are kind to the other female prisoners and will go to the store to buy items or pay phones for daily use; however in a similar situation, Baha’i prisoners are punished.

These prisoners are also not permitted to have leave time, which the other prisoners are granted. They are labeled security-risk prisoners, and are only allowed leave if the prosecutor lets them, and the prosecutor is the eyes and mouth of the Mashhad Intelligence Ministry.

The names of the Baha’i prisoners in this ward and their condition are listed below:

1)    Rozita Vasseghi (2), sentenced to 5 years.

2)    Sima Eshraghi (3), sentenced to 5 years.

3)    Noura Nabilzadeh (4), sentenced to 5 years.

4)    Sonia Ahmadi (5), sentenced to 5 years

5)    Nika Kholousi, sentenced to 6 years

6)    Nava Kholousi (6), sentenced to 4.5 years

More than four years has passed since Rozita Vasseghi’s conviction, but she has not had a single day of prison leave because the Mashhad Intelligence Ministry is opposed to giving her leave time!

At present, these six individuals are awaiting the transfer of two other Baha’i prisoners named May Kholousi and Dori Amri (7), while at the same time they have been kept in temporary solitary confinement by order of the Mashhad Intelligence Ministry for approximately one month.


1. A description of the prison can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vakilabad_Prison

2. An article about Rozita Vaseghi can be found here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/woman-fears-for-sister-in-iran-jail/story-fn59niix-1225932553023?nk=f77016b48d929cc50caa08fce0f1c6ee

3. Sima Eshraghi’s Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=158436424208062

4. A profile of Noura Nabilzadeh is here: www.bahairights.org/2013/07/07/prisoners-in-profile-noura-nabilzadeh-childrens-rights-activist/

5. An earlier article on Sonia Ahmadi is here: http://iranpresswatch.org/post/9758/

6. An article about the Kholousi sisters can be found here: http://iranpresswatch.org/post/9628/

7. An earlier article mentioning them can be found here: http://iranpresswatch.org/post/10523/




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