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Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!


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Hossein Qashqaei, a political prisoner who was sentenced to two years in prison for criticizing the Islamic Republic and his activities on social media and has been in Fashafoyeh Prison since April 3, 2021, on Wednesday, August 11, tweeted about a man named Peyman Samadi, the lawyer-agent** of one of the wards of this prison:

Qashqaei describes Peyman Samadi as a “highly religious” man who “filled his hall with photographs of Khamenei and Qassem Soleimani, claiming to have access to intelligence and the protection of the prison,” and according to himself, his father is a member of the Islamic Republic “Expediency Council.” Peyman Samadi is in prison for corruption. He used to be the director of IRGC’s Ansar Khodro Company and now he is the deputy head of the counseling center and a lawyer-agent in the 2nd ward of the Greater Tehran Prison. Qashqaei points to the Prisons Organization’s violation of the principle of segregation of crimes. Political prisoners were transferred from ward 5 to ward 2 of the prison last year with the promise of separating crimes, and among them are prisoners with various crimes.

“Political prisoners, with the promise of crimes segregation, were transferred from ward 5, where financial criminals are held with the most facilities and privileges, to ward 2 where is full of rats and other infestations with no facilities, and still various criminals are held among them.

In this space, Samadi has created a “poisonous atmosphere”, abusing his position and with the support of prison officials, he keeps the prisoners’ letters to himself for a long time, sends out leave requests, conditional release, and any other request with long delays: “To be brief, this creature has been torturing political prisoners.” Peyman Samadi “sexually abuses a number of prisoners with small stature who are in financial need and need help to get out of prison by promising financial freedom and sometimes coercion.”

“He would block CCTV cameras inside the (prison’s) mosque with tape and abuse prisoners there. One of these incidents was made public by one of the prisoners who stood up to him. These incidents have been reported to prison officials many times but he’s still at his position.”

At the end of his tweet, Qashqaei describes a fraction of the catastrophic condition of the prison, which we also discussed earlier: the undrinkable water, the awful quality of prison food, rats and vermin, and… Hossein Qashqaei began his tweet by mentioning the possibility that expressing these issues while he’s out on leave might cause him problems when he returns to prison. Qashqaei’s concerns were not unreasonable.
Peyman Samadi complained against Hossein Qashqaei after the tweet was published. Hossein was supposed to be on leave until August 22. Prison officials have now told him he must return to prison before his leave ends.

On the other hand, Mohammad Mehdi Haj Mohammadi, the head of the country’s prisons, security and “educational” organization, tweeted accusing Qashqaei of lying:

The picture that Haj Mohammadi tweeted is a picture of an old iPhone with a sentence attributed to Mohammad (prophet): “For lying, it is enough if one recites what has heard without any investigation!” While this sentence itself is taken from a book of hadiths and narrations by Sheikh Saduq Qomi; a book written in the most optimistic way based on hearsay. But Haj Mohammadi does not have the time to investigate the truth or falsity of the hadiths in the “Maani al-Akhbar”. Of all the cases Qashqaei mentioned in his tweet, the head of the Prisons Organization apparently saw only one case of “sexual harassment.”

The name of Peyman Samadi was mentioned by another political prisoner, Milad Arsanjani, before the sham presidential election, which was boycotted by the majority of the Iranian people. In a message from prison to the then head of the judiciary and then-presidential candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, Milad said: “There were reports published in the media some time ago, you have definitely heard, Mr. Raisi, you can’t say you haven’t heard. The ward lawyer-agent of this very prison, named Mr. Peyman Samadi, intended to rape a 21-year-old youngster. The 21-year-old complained so much, but no one heard him. The news was everywhere. You have definitely heard… »

“Why should we vote? Nothing changes. Mr. Raisi has been talking about ‘justice, justice’ since he’s become head of Judiciary, but nothing has changed.” Milad then describes Peyman Samadi’s horrific actions, that he’s always with kids, he’s sick, but fully supported by prison officials, even been praised. He talks about “financial criminals” given all privileges and political prisoners living in hell.

Haj Mohammadi has definitely heard. He cannot say he has not heard. He has also seen the situation in the prison. He cannot say that he has not seen the non-segregation of crimes. He is responsible for all this, he is the head of the prison organization. Haj Mohammadi, who has adorned his Twitter page with a photo of Lajavardi, from the first generation of regime interrogators and torturers, as his role model, certainly has heard all of this before Qashqaei and Arsanjani spoke of sexual assault and harassment of political prisoners by a “creature named Peyman Samadi”:

“I’m one of the Nov 2019 detainees, I had a neck problem, Peyman Samadi did not allow me to go to the clinic and massaged my neck himself. The third night he tried to rape me, but I stood up to him and there was a fight. They transferred me to quarantine, but he got promoted. He told me if I file a complaint, because his father holds a top position in the regime and is a member of Expediency Council, I’ll be in trouble. But I didn’t care, I filed a complaint with the warden, investigation team, revolutionary court, and anybody I could. But nothing happened!”

“We are ready to open the doors of our prisons so that human rights defenders can see any prisoner they want in Iran,” said Ebrahim Raisi, head of the judiciary, at a meeting of the Supreme Council of Judiciary on February 15, 2021. The Islamic Republic prisons were never opened. But there were people like Hossein Qashqaei, Milad Arsanjani and many other prisoners who bravely exposed parts of this hell of the Islamic Republic to public judgment. Contrary to popular media interpretation, Haj Mohammadi’s tweet is not a “promise to follow up”; it’s a warning for “dealing with it!” Peyman Samadi, the ward lawyer-agent accused of sexual abuse, has complained from inside the prison and wants Qashqaei, who is out of prison, to be returned to prison earlier than the end of his leave. Haj Mohammadi asked Qashqaei for “evidence and explanation.” “Evidence” is sitting in Haj Mohammadi’s prison, a creature named Peyman Samadi who exerts influence from inside there.

Translation of this post by Sahar.

**: A prisoner appointed by prison officials to oversee others and report back to the warden. He has many privileges including sending out prisoners’ letters, their requests,…

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