The imprisonment of American Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran’s infamous Evin prison has sparked an international outcry and shined a spotlight on one of the world’s cruelest gulags.
But Evin is just one of many prisons where conditions exist that would shock medieval jailers, and where the level of human misery is incalculable. Prisoners brazenly carrying guns and machetes, guards rousting inmates in the night for mock executions and captives forced to stand in water up to their noses for 24 hours when they’re not being worked literally to death are common at the world’s most draconian dungeons. Most operate in rogue nations, beyond the influence of human rights organizations or appeals from Western nations. The few who have escaped or been freed carry the scars from their imprisonment for the rest of their lives.