The media outcry over the brutal violence against political prisoners in Tehran’s Evin Prison has died down in recent days, its echoes heard mostly in Iran-focused watchdogs who have brought readers the latest updates.
Dissident blog Good Morning Iran, for example, linked to what it called a “propaganda video” denying that violence had been used against the inmates at all. It then cited two Twitter accounts linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which claimed the violence had only begun after a “dangerous spy network” was uncovered in Ward 350 – an “absurd narrative,” the blog said.
The next development in the narrative, describing what is now known as “Black Thursday,” was state television blaming the inmates for igniting the violence by resisting a routine inspection, releasing video footage purporting to show the chain of events. Relatives and eyewitnesses immediately retorted that the footage was recorded nowhere near Ward 350, where political prisoners are held in the notorious jail.
According to Iran Wire, hardline politicians continued to deny any violence had transpired, instead blaming the BBC and other Western media for disseminating “counter-revolutionary” rumors. An alternative announcement from Iran reported two injured. Later we learn that more than thirty inmates suffered injuries, many placed in isolation.
Officially, Iran still denies it holds any political prisoners at all. An additional development was the announcement that head of Evin had been removed from his position. When hardliners questioned, his demotion became promotion.
And Iranian President Hassan Rouhani? He has stayed remarkably silent on this and other human rights abuses. A recent analysis by Sussam Tahmasebi on Payvand suggested that while the Iranian president has little control over other branches of government, the public’s patience with him – and his slow pace in delivering on promises of reform – was reaching the boiling point.
JNS, via The Algemeiner, took a similar tone, suggesting that the optimism over Rouhani’s election was misplaced in light of the fact that not much has changed since the Ahmadinejad days.