News

Christian woman prisoner strip-searched at Evin Prison

Christian woman prisoner strip-searched at Evin Prison

A Christian woman prisoner who has been on temporary leave was insulted and strip-searched when she returned to Evin Prison.

Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran had been out of prison for four days – for the first time in 16 months of imprisonment. When she returned on 12 November, she was forced to take off all of her clothes by one of the female guards.

Nasim is said to have been extremely shaken as a result of the abuse. 

Previously, in September, Nasim was taken to Tehran’s Modarres Hospital due to a heart condition that has worsened during her time in prison.

Nasim, who is 36 years old, was first arrested on 6 January 2013. She was summoned by the Iranian Security Police and held for three days. She was then taken to Evin Prison after preliminary interrogations, and her case was referred to the Islamic Revolutionary Court.

On 9 March 2013, Nasim was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted in Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, of “gathering and collusion against the security of the state”. 

The ruling did not change in the appeal court, and Maryam was taken to Evin Prison to begin her sentence on 15 July 2013.

It should be noted that until now prison authorities have not provided any explanation as to why Nasim was subjected to such an untypical, and humiliating, examination.

Previously, in October 2012, about 20 women from the Evin Prison Guard unit stormed the women’s prison quarters and strip-searched the women, who were political prisoners or prisoners of conscience, while insulting them. Some of the prisoners went on hunger strike in response, and human rights organisations condemned the illegal actions against them.