Riot police were deployed to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj earlier today. Iranian special guards, armed with military equipment and police dogs, stormed hall 10, section four of the prison complex, where Sunni political prisoners are detained.
A number of prisoners yesterday had reportedly obstructed the transfer of two men, Kaveh Vaisi and Mokhtar Rahimi, to Ghezal Hesar prison, out of fear that they would be executed. The prison reportedly carries out up to 15 executions per week, with many of them unreported.
Today prison officials reportedly vowed to use force if prisoners attempted to obstruct the transfer again. Despite the threats, prisoners refused to move, and instead stood protecting the two men for almost three hours. The threat of violence increased, with guards threatening a 'bloodbath' if the men refused to comply. It was at this point that Kaveh Vaisi and Mokhtar Rahimi voluntarily allowed themselves to be detained, saying they wanted to avoid bloodshed. They have been placed in solitary confinement.
It is unclear at this stage what will happen to the men. There are unconfirmed reports that a court has ordered for them to be transferred to Evin prison in Tehran.
According to the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA), plans are being made to transfer all 26 Sunni prisoners facing execution in Rajai Shahr to Ghezal Hesar prison. There are fears this could lead to secret executions. Six Sunni men are already held in Ghezel Hesar prison, and, according to Amnesty International, are facing 'imminent execution'.
There are currently at least 30 Sunni prisoners on death row in Iran. The men all face charges such as 'enmity against God' and 'causing corruption on the Earth'. The men have all been tortured, with many forced to 'confess'. It is known that outspoken Sunnis or those who criticize the government face extreme oppression under the Iranian regime.