Prison guards and security officers raided the political and religious prisoners’ ward in Orumiyeh Central Prison today, destroying prisoners’ belongings and beating Kurdish political prisoners Keyvan Rashozadeh and Kamran Ghassemi.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned that that around 10 guards and prison officials took part in the raid, which was ordered by the prison director, Peyman Khanzadeh, citing the presence of mobile phones as a reason to search and confiscate prisoners’ personal belongings, leading to objections from the prisoners.

Following the prisoners’ protests, prison officials, acting on Khanzadeh’s orders, brutally attacked the political prisoners with batons.

Despite suffering head injuries during the beating, Rashozadeh was transferred to solitary confinement without medical treatment.

Additionally, Ardavan Tahourian, a 60-year-old Kurdish political prisoner with heart disease and diabetes, was transferred to solitary confinement on Khanzadeh’s orders today, the third day of his hunger strike.

Tahourian went on a hunger strike on 15 April in protest at being denied access to medical services and leave for treatment.

In recent months, over 800 prisoners at Orumiyeh Central Prison had jointly written a letter calling for Khanzadeh’s dismissal.

On 28 February, following the publication of the letter and widespread coverage of the suicide and death of Shahin Gallehdar, a Kurdish political prisoner in the political ward of Orumiyeh Central Prison, prison guards acting on Khanzadeh’s orders raided the section housing political and religious prisoners, destroying their belongings and physically assaulting some of them.

At the same time as the guard raid, Kurdish prisoner Hassan Omarpour set himself on fire and suffered burns to his leg. Another prisoner, Ashkan Osmanzadeh, suffered burns while trying to help him.