There’s a notorious prison in Iran called Evin. No visitors or media are allowed into the penitentiary that houses mostly political prisoners and foreigners who are being held as bargaining chips, yet in actuality have committed no crimes. Journalists make up the majority of them. The assumed horridness of the conditions in which these prisoners are held is at last no longer an assumption.
Though no one physically penetrated the interior of the prison for a peek, some hackers got a pretty good look at what the prison’s security cameras keep constant watch over. When the wall of security monitors began fluttering in the prison’s security control room, it got the guards’ attention. Soon, every monitor began flashing the same single word. “Cyberattack.”
As some of the guards began making frantic calls to whoever they were calling, others found it more important to record the event for prosperity’s sake. A second line appeared on the monitors that read, ”General protest until the freedom of political prisoners.”
The hacker released some of the footage they were able to capture. One clip shows a half-crazed man breaking a mirror with his fist so he could slice both of his wrists. Lots of them show guards unmercifully beating prisoners, but what wasn’t expected was to see the guards routinely beating the crap out of each other. For fun? Who knows?
Inmates were shown crammed into tiny rooms on bunk beds piled three high. It was obvious they had little if any heat the way shivering prisoners were wrapping themselves in single blankets to no avail.
Other footage showed rows of sewing machines where inmates are forced to labor for long hours, a solitary confinement cell with a hole in the floor for a toilet, and an exercise yard with no exercise equipment.
A sequence of events on one clip first shows a handcuffed man in a prison parking lot being yanked from a car, thrown to the ground, and dragged by his arms into the prison, and deposited in a stairwell. Later footage shows a prison employee walking past the injured and still handcuffed man as though he wasn’t there.
Then there was the one of a guard sucker-punching an inmate as he was walking past, and another one of prisoners taking their frustrations out on other prisoners as the guards gathered round for the free show. Not one face mask was to be seen.
The prisons perpetrators created an online account so they could share the footage with the Associated Press. All they would reveal about themselves was that they were a group of hackers called “Justice For All’ with an interest in showing the world what goes on inside of Evin. Likely for safety concerns. A message to the AP in Dubai explained their intent this way. “We want the world to hear our voice for freedom of all political prisoners.”
Iran has fallen under harsh criticism from the United Nations concerning the secretiveness of the prison and the purported abuse. Iran officials won’t comment on the prisons conditions or the reason for holding certain inmates, and their state media won’t even acknowledge the hacking incident.
The hackers may have succeeded in their mission of spreading the word about Evin but it’s doubtful it’ll result in any changes. Iran is not the type to care about what the world thinks.