Mullahs' regime admits: Prison population in Iran has grown seven-fold

Abbas Abdi, a former Deputy Prosecutor-general and one of Khatami's close advisors, announced that the number of prisoners in Iran has grown seven-fold from 22,000 in 1980 to 156,000 in 1997. The figure stands even higher today, three years later.

Abdi wrote in an article in the Monday issue of the government-run daily Mosharekat that the number of those arrested each year shows a 3.5-fold rise from 155,000 to 490,000. The former Deputy Prosecutor-general acknowledges that this means one out of every 50 Iranian adults spends some time in prison every year.

These figures do not include the numerous political detainees who are held in secret safe-houses, detention centers and prisons run by the Intelligence Ministry, the Guards Corps and other suppressive agencies of the clerical regime.

In an interview with the state-run television on Monday, State Prisons Organization Director-general Morteza Bakhtiari admitted that the number of prisoners in the country has increased in an extraordinary way. "We are currently holding 155,000 prisoners in our jails," he said. "We are facing a problem of over-crowding."

Referring to the constant rise in the prison population, Bakhtiari said: "We forecast that 17 prison camps will be ready for use by March 2001. Five camps went into operation last year and five more will be opened this year."

Large-scale arrests that have been on the rise in the past few years are yet another indication that the mullahs' medieval tyranny cannot survive without suppression, executions and terrorism. All claims about reform and change within this regime are completely unfounded. The Iranian Resistance urges all international human rights authorities and organizations to condemn this flagrant, systematic abuse of human rights and the incessant rise in the number of prisoners in Iran.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 19, 2000

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