The group of hackers behind the cyberattack on the Iranian prison goes by the name of Edaalate Ali – The footage shows dire human rights conditions in the prison.
Iran has always tried to portray it as a country where human rights are valued and laws are duly abided by. However, the security camera footage leaked by hackers shows grim conditions and grave human rights violations taking place at a prison facility in northern Tehran.
According to the Associated Press, the surveillance camera footage that stirred the UN recently was acquired by a group of hackers called Edaalate Ali (Ali’s Justice or Ali’s Court).
The clips were shared online by another group called Tapandegan (Palpitations). They shared several parts of the prison’s CCTV videos with the Associated Press (AP) and said they wanted to show the world how Iran keeps its political prisoners.
They further claimed that the Iranian government uses non-native prisoners as bargaining chips to negotiate with the West. Iran is severely criticized for the prison conditions and didn’t yet respond to the New York-based UN mission’s request for comment.
About the Leaked Footage
AP’s report claims that four former prisoners and some journalists who had seen this prison in real life, claim that the videos are from the Evin Prison in Tehran. The footage shows sewing machines used by prisoners, solitary confinement cells equipped with squat toilets, and the exterior area of the building.
Then there are images of the outdoor exercise yard, offices, and prisoners’ bathrooms. Most of the clips have timestamps from 2020 and 2021. Reportedly, Adalat Ali staged a cyberattack on this prison to get the footage. It is worth noting that in this prison, dual Iranian citizenship holders and Britons are kept, such as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
What’s In the Videos?
Most videos have no sound, but the grim conditions are obvious. In one of the many sequences released online by the hackers, we can see an emaciated male being dumped from a car in the parking area and dragged around the prison.
In another clip, a cleric can be seen stepping over this man but didn’t stop to check on the injured prisoner. Inmates are seen fighting with each other and forcibly being dragged on the floor and abused by the correctional officers. A prisoner smashes a bathroom mirror to cut his arm.
Video shows defacement of computers by hackers
Additional leaked videos are available on the official Twitter account of the Edaalate Ali hacking group.
Could The Leakage be Politically Motivated?
We cannot ignore the fact that prison conditions are never exemplary in any given state. But, when what goes behind closed doors becomes the talk of the town, unimaginable reputational risk is definitely on the cards. The same has happened to Iran as the country has been facing embarrassing hacking incidents repeatedly.
All of this is happening when there’s immense tension over its nuclear program and talks with the World Powers to revive the atomic accord are on hold. Many are linking this incident to the election of the new president because of his involvement in the execution of countless people as hackers regard the leak as a “stain on Raisi’s black turban and white beard.”