– Deputy Justice of Evin Prison and Deputy to the Health and Rehab Center of Tehran Province, till 25 July 2016
– Head of Evin Prison, 25 July 2016-present
1- Torture and death of prisoners at Evin prison
As Director of Evin Prison, Ali Cheharmahali is responsible for the torturing, intimidation and death of prisoners within his jurisdiction.
1-1 Death of Sina Ghanbari at Evin prison
Sina Ghanbari was one of the protesters who was detained during the December-January protests. Sina Ghanbari died under unknown circumstances while in custody at Evin Prison, which is under the control of Ali Cheharmahali.
Twenty-two year old Sina Ghanbari was arrested by NAJA forces during the protests of 31 December 2018 and transferred to Ward 4 of the Quarantine wing at Evin Prison. Six days later, on 6 January 2018, Mostafa Mohebi claimed that Ghanbari had hanged himself in a prison toilet.
On 11 January, Attorney General, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, confirmed the death of Ghanbari stressing that he had committed suicide. Talking to the press, he claimed that he “was a drug addict and footage [of the incident] is available”.
Following the claims made by Attorney General Montazeri regarding Sina Ghanbari’s suicide, on 5 February Tehran Member of Parliament Alireza Rahimi, right after his visit to the Evin Prison, rejected the above claim in his personal Telegram channel and wrote:
“The said footage is incorrectly referred to as Sina Ghanbari’s suicide clip. This is while the clip only shows some footage of the outside of the toilet facilities and there is no footage from the inside of the toilet or the incident resulting in the death; basically no footage of the suicide exists”.
The prominent human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, told the Centre for Human Rights in Iran that security agents had encouraged the prisoners to ask for “methadone” so that they would be freed sooner.
In a tweet on 16 January, Tehran Member of Parliament, Mahmoud Sadeghi, also confirmedthe news that prisoners including Sina Ghanbari were forced to take pills:
“Based on statements by the relatives of one of the detainees who died in prison, he had contacted them from prison several times to say that he and the detainees were being forced to take some pills that made them sick.”
The circumstances of Sina Ghanbari’s death have not yet been investigated by an independent body.
2- Torture and deprivation of prisoners from their basic human rights in Fashafuye prison
As the head of the Fashafuye prison, Ali Cheharmahali was involved in conducting torture, keeping inhumane prison conditions, as well as depriving prisoners from medical treatment.
Despite numerous reports and complaints regarding the inhumane conditions of Fashafuye prison, Cheharmahali has not only taken any steps to improve the conditions, but rather the prison conditions have even worsened under his authority. Lack of access to drinking water, disregard for the separation of prisoners based on their offences, poor sanitary conditions, overpopulation, and deprivation from medical treatments are some of the conditions that prisoners have been experiencing.
In the aftermath of the November 2019 protests, many of the arrested protestors were sent to Fashafuye prison. This took place while Hassan Khalil Abadi, the head of the Islamic Council in the city of Rey had said, “Fashafuye prison doesn’t have enough resources.”
Spontaneous and peaceful nationwide protests started in Iran on November 15th in response to the sudden announcement of the rise in fuel prices. The protests were brutally repressed by Iran’s state security forces. Many were killed, thousands were injured and arrested. The deadly suppression was facilitated by the nationwide internet cut-off.
Based on Amnesty International’s report on December 16th, at least 304 people were killed by Iran’s state security forces during the November protests, however the actual number of killed protesters is expected to be significantly higher. Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, a member of Parliament, announced on December 2nd that approximately 7000 people were arrested during, and after, the protests.
*Last update: January 7th, 2018*