Judges and judicial officials of the Islamic Republic visiting Tehran’s Evin Prison encountered escalating protests from women political prisoners on Wednesday.
The incident happened when a group of high-ranking judiciary officials paid a visit to the notorious jail, informed sources told Iran International.
The female detainees boldly chanted slogans and sang revolutionary songs, demanding an end to what they perceive as oppressive policies of the Iranian judiciary. Dozens of women human rights and political activists are kept in Evin Prison, including the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi.
Chanting “Death to the dictator,” “Death to the Islamic Republic,” and “Woman, Life, Freedom,” the women prisoners expressed their anger and rejection against the suppression of the people, imprisonment of dissidents, torture, and executions.
Sources close to the families of the detainees told Iran International that in a bold move, some of the women went to the prison staff corridor, where they chanted slogans. The guards promptly responded by locking the doors to the rooms where Islamic Republic judicial officials were present.
Mizan, the official news agency of the judiciary of the Islamic Republic, reported that 250 judges and judicial officials from Tehran Province visited Evin Prison on Wednesday.
Among the officials were judges from Revolutionary Courts that deal with political cases. The group included Iman Afshari, the head of Revolutionary Court Branch 26, Mohammad-Reza Amouzad, the head of Branch 28, Ali Ghenaat-Kar, the acting head of the Security Court, Ali Alqasi Mehr, the head of the judiciary of Tehran Province, and several security personnel.
Standing in front of the locked doors, the women prisoners addressed the visitors, emphasizing that their demonstration was not about their individual cases, but to protest the repressive policies of the Iranian judiciary. They accused judges, such as Afshari and Amouzad, of issuing and executing unjust and inhumane sentences, particularly targeting protesters.
Iran’s Judiciary is unlike most other countries in the world. It encapsulates both prosecutors and judges, who often act based on advice from security and intelligence organs. Judges are not independent, but employees of the all-powerful Judiciary, which is controlled by the Supreme Leader, and not the Ministry of Justice.
The prisoners continually shouted the name of Mohsen Shekari, a protester who was hanged in Dember 2022, drawing attention to judges like Mohammad Reza Amouzad, who had issued his execution order and were allegedly hiding among security forces inside the rooms.
The Islamic Republic has executed at least eight protesters, including Shekari, who were arrested in connection with the 2022 anti-government protests.
As the prisoners’ demonstration unfolded, the number of guards and security personnel increased around their wards. Despite efforts by guards and prison officials to push them back, the female prisoners remained steadfast, demanding accountability for what they deemed as crimes committed by the individuals present.
In response, security forces asserted that the prisoners could only request information about their individual cases. However, the protesting prisoners clarified their purpose, stating, “We are here to announce that the judiciary must stop the death machine,” referring to execution. This year alone, Iran has executed nearly 750 people, most for drug offences and murder cases.
The prisoners continued to chant slogans such as “Shameless, Shameless,” “Killer, Go Away,” and the visiting officials hurriedly exited the administrative rooms of the women’s ward.