Head of prisons: Iranian prisons seven times smaller than standard
- Number of prisoners soared 16% in one year

In a shocking acknowledgement about the inhuman prison conditions in Iran, Head of the clerical regime's prisons organization announced that the prison space allocated to each prisoner is seven times smaller than the standard. Instead of 17.5 square meters, the international standard, only 2.5 square meters is allocated to every prisoner, he said. Some 70 million dollars are needed to provide for the minimum necessary space, which has never been considered in the national budget.

Morteza Bakhtiari pointed out that presently there are 160,000 prisoners in Iran. In light of the new round of arrests, shortage of space has become more and more acute, he said. The number of prisoners has increased 16% in the past year, according to the official figures.

Eighteen months after Khatami's presidency, the increasing deterioration of prison conditions in Iran, the continued executions of prisoners in public and in secret and the assassination of dissidents in Iran and abroad shows the extent to which Khatami's rhetoric about "civil society" and "the rule of law" is hollow and that all factions of the clerical regime share interest in suppression and terrorism.

The actual number of prisoners is much higher than 160,000. Various organs of suppression, including the Revolutionary Guards Corps, the State Security Force, the Ministry of Intelligence, the Prosecutor's Office, and the Mostaz'afan Foundation have hundreds of public and secret prisons and detention centers throughout the country which are outside the scope of the prisons organization and hold thousands of prisoners.

One of the deputies of the Judiciary Branch confessed to the existence of these prisons last July. These prisons are specially used to detain, interrogate and torture political prisoners.

The Iranian Resistance urges international human rights organizations and bodies to condemn violations of human rights by the theocratic regime ruling Iran and calls for immediate international action to save the lives of political prisoners in Iran.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
December 3, 1998

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