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"World's Harshest Lockdowns: The Ten Most Notorious Prisons Globally"

### 1. La Sabaneta Prison, Venezuela

- History and Overview: Established with a capacity far exceeded by its actual population, La Sabaneta has been notorious for violence and overcrowding.

- Conditions: Lack of basic facilities, including medical care and clean water. The prison is self-governed by inmates due to the minimal presence of guards.

- Human Rights Concerns: Reports of widespread violence, including massacres and riots.

- Notable Incidents: Several deadly riots over the years, with one in 1994 leaving over 100 inmates dead.

### 2. Tadmor Military Prison, Syria

- History and Overview: Known for its brutal regime, Tadmor was a symbol of oppression and torture under the Syrian government.

- Conditions: Harsh conditions with extreme torture and inhumane treatment being commonplace.

- Human Rights Concerns: Allegations of mass executions and torture.

- Notable Incidents: The 1980 massacre following an assassination attempt on President Hafez al-Assad.

### 3. Carandiru Penitentiary, Brazil

- History and Overview: Once the largest prison in Latin America, Carandiru was notorious for its violence.

- Conditions: Overcrowding and unsanitary conditions were rampant, leading to the spread of diseases.

- Human Rights Concerns: The massacre in 1992 where police killed 111 inmates during a riot crackdown.

- Notable Incidents: The 1992 massacre is a pivotal moment in Brazil's criminal justice history.

### 4. Bang Kwang Central Prison, Thailand

- History and Overview: Known as the "Bangkok Hilton," Bang Kwang is infamous for housing death row and long-term prisoners.

- Conditions: Overcrowding, limited healthcare, and inmates often shackled.

- Human Rights Concerns: Harsh treatment of prisoners and the use of leg irons.

- Notable Incidents: Stories of foreign prisoners have brought international attention to its conditions.

### 5. Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, USA (Historical)

- History and Overview: Although no longer in operation, Alcatraz's legacy as a maximum-security prison and its escape-proof reputation endure.

- Conditions: Isolated on an island, it had strict discipline and was reserved for the most troublesome prisoners.

- Human Rights Concerns: While not as severe as others on this list, its isolation and strict regime were controversial.

- Notable Incidents: The 1962 escape attempt by Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers.

### 6. Rikers Island, USA

- History and Overview: New York City's main jail complex has been criticized for violence, abuse, and neglect.

- Conditions: Reports of violence among inmates and against inmates by staff, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions.

- Human Rights Concerns: Numerous reports of human rights abuses and calls for closure.

- Notable Incidents: The death of Kalief Browder, who was held for three years without trial, spotlighted the need for reform.

### 7. Kresty Prison, Russia

- History and Overview: Located in Saint Petersburg, known for its severe overcrowding and historical significance.

- Conditions: Inmates held in cramped conditions, with some reports indicating up to eight prisoners in a cell designed for two.

- Human Rights Concerns: Lack of medical care, physical abuse, and inadequate food.

- Notable Incidents: Its history includes being a central prison during the Soviet era for political prisoners.

### 8. La Modelo, Colombia

- History and Overview: Known for its violent past, overcrowding, and control by criminal gangs.

- Conditions: Overcrowding, violence, and lack of basic amenities.

- Human Rights Concerns: Battles between inmates and security forces, and between rival gangs.

- Notable Incidents: Numerous riots and fires, including a significant riot in 2016.

### 9. Gitarama Central Prison, Rwanda

- History and Overview: Once considered the most overcrowded prison in the world.

- Conditions: Inhumane conditions, with prisoners lacking space to lie down and forced to stand for long periods.

- Human Rights Concerns: High death rates due to disease, malnutrition, and violence.

- Notable Incidents: Its role in the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide.

### 10. Evin Prison, Iran

Evin Prison, situated in Tehran, Iran, is infamous for its severe human rights abuses and harsh conditions. Established in 1972, initially to house opponents of the Shah's regime, it has since become a symbol of political repression and a tool for the post-revolutionary government to suppress dissent. Housing a mix of political prisoners, journalists, activists, and dual nationals, Evin has earned a grim reputation on the international stage.

Human Rights Violations: Reports from former inmates and human rights organizations paint a harrowing picture of life inside Evin Prison. Torture, both physical and psychological, is reported to be a common interrogation tactic. Prisoners have described beatings, prolonged solitary confinement, threats against family members, and the denial of medical care as part of the torture repertoire.

Political Prisoners: Evin Prison is particularly notorious for its treatment of political prisoners and intellectuals who are often held without charge or subjected to sham trials. The prison has been a key site for holding those accused of espionage, sedition, and other charges often seen as politically motivated by international observers.

Conditions of Detainment: The living conditions in Evin Prison are deplorable. Overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, limited access to clean water, and insufficient healthcare contribute to the misery faced by inmates. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these conditions, with outbreaks within the prison and accusations of inadequate response by authorities.

International Attention: Evin Prison has attracted significant international condemnation. Human rights organizations, foreign governments, and the United Nations have all criticized the Iranian government for its use of the prison to violate human rights. Despite this, the prison remains operational and continues to be a powerful instrument for political repression in Iran.

Resistance and Hope: Despite the grim conditions, stories of resistance and hope emerge from Evin. Inmates have smuggled out letters, created art, and found ways to communicate with the outside world, often at great personal risk. These acts of defiance highlight the resilience of the human spirit in the face of oppression.

In conclusion, Evin Prison stands as a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle for human rights in Iran and around the world. Its existence challenges the international community to respond to such egregious violations and to continue advocating for the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their incarceration status.

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