Evin Prison in Iran Sanctioned
by U.S. Treasury
Christians Imprisoned in Evin Tortured for Their Faith
06/01/18 International Christian Concern (Washington D.C.) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that effective May 30, 2018 the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Evin Prison because of its reputation of grievous human rights violations.
According to the Treasury Department’s statement, “Prisoners held at Evin Prison are subject to brutal tactics inflicted by prison authorities, including sexual assaults, physical assaults, and electric shock… senior regime officials regularly downplay the torture and abuse that occurs in Evin Prison, the abuse of prisoners, including political prisoners, continues once sham inspections into the prison conditions end.”
While the exact number of Christians imprisoned in Iran is unknown, ICC has documented at least 10 converts serving their sentences in Evin Prison. In these cases, the average prison sentence length is nine years. At least three Christians are currently released from Evin on bail, a sum which is often an insurmountable financial burden for the families.
“Christians held in Evin are subjected to physical and verbal abuse by not only the authorities but also by some other Muslim inmates. They are denied access to Bibles, phone calls and family visits. Evin Prison is run by the intelligence who behave in complete impunity. It is one of the worst places of detention in Iran, especially for those who converted from Islam,” said Mena of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Matias Perttula, ICC’s Advocacy Director, said, “It is essential that the United States continue to take a strong leadership role in pressuring governments like that of Iran to safeguard all essential human rights for their citizens, including religious freedom. Iran must be called to account for the wanton brutality taking place in Evin Prison as well as its wider restrictions on religious freedom.”
Dr. Mike Ansari of Heart4Iran, an Iranian Christian partnership platform, told ICC, “Most of the arrested individuals are coerced to divulge information about their house-church activities and those of their friends, under threat of criminal prosecution or arrest of family members… Therefore, the case of every arrested Iranian believer is of utmost importance and should be monitored.”
A former prisoner in Evin shared with World Watch Monitor, “If a prisoner’s case got attention, they stopped torturing or raping them because they knew the world was watching. We heard of many cases of prisoners who had no voice outside, and many things happened to them.”
Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Iran’s Islamic regime views Christianity as a threat to national security. It is no coincidence, then, that so many Christians are imprisoned in the country’s harshest jail. The punitive posture of the regime has led to the conversion of many Iranians, which has only intensified the targeting of Christians for harassment and persecution. The physical and mental torture experienced by Christians in Evin Prison will affect them long after their sentences are over. Their plight cannot be ignored.”