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Inmates at Iran’s notorious Evin prison in Tehran allegedly assaulted a group of political prisoners on Friday as part of an ongoing practice reportedly orchestrated by prison officials, VOA’s Persian Service has learned.

Assailants assaulted political prisoners with their fists on Friday, leading to bruises and other visible injuries, according to reports. The attackers also reportedly labeled the political prisoners as terrorists and verbally abused them.

Documents apparently hacked from an Iranian government database and published exclusively by VOA’s Persian Service suggest that for approximately a year, prison authorities had been employing certain inmates, including the prison’s Ward 4 lawyer and his deputy, to gather intelligence on political prisoners or physically attack them.

A family member of one political prisoner told VOA that unlike the direct involvement of authorities in attacking political prisoners last October, the prison management’s current tactic involves employing certain ordinary inmates from “Ward 4, Hall 3” to deter political prisoners from making demands or protesting.

Reports show the attackers, chosen from among government supporters, aim to carry out the goals set by prison authorities and the warden of Evin prison in their efforts to confront and suppress political prisoners. They also inform the prison guards about the singing of anthems or conversations among political prisoners.

VOA has learned that prison management allegedly addresses the concerns of the attackers, who in turn receive various benefits.

Financial exploitation is another factor allegedly contributing to the crackdown on political prisoners, historically leading to their transfer to other prisons.

Information obtained by VOA indicates that government-affiliated prisoners profit by seeking to depoliticize the cells designated for political prisoners.

In some cases, bunk beds within the prison are traded among inmates for more than $71.

Regarding the relocation of political prisoners to other facilities, one notable instance occurred in September 2023. According to a reliable source who spoke to VOA on the condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals, 12 political detainees from the town of Tajrish in Evin prison, including those housed in Wards 6 and 8, were transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison, northwest of Tehran.

The informed source revealed that the motive for the transfer was their involvement in supporting nationwide protests. The nationwide protests in Iran were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, 2022, while in police custody. She was arrested for allegedly wearing her veil improperly.