Hackers release security footage of Iranian Evin prison

Tapandegan (Palpitations), an Iranian “hacktivist” group, broadcast video footage from security cameras at Evin Prison in Tehran on Sunday, where many political prisoners are held. Tapandegan said the footage was acquired by hackers called Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice) and was being released to draw attention to human rights violations, especially against political prisoners.

In a statement sent to the media, Tapandegan said the footage proved the depth of violence and injustice against political prisoners. The group said it was also in possession of videos of the prison control room, rooms and cells as well as political prisoners files and classified prison documents.

One of the videos shows an older prisoner wearing a mask who passes out, falls to the ground and is then dragged down the stairs and taken into a room, while others, including a clergyman, walk past without objecting.

In his statement, Tapandegan said that Edalat-e Ali’s hackers were likely protesting against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s “appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as president”, referring to arguments that Khamenei and the Council of Guardians elections had not included any candidates in the June 18 presidential election that they thought could pose a serious challenge to Raisi (Raeesi), who comfortably won the ballot. The group promised further actions and “revelations about the injustice committed against the people by Raisi and the regime.”

Another portion of the video with the prisoner shows a surveillance room and an officer as the group’s protest messages appear on multiple screens. Officers are shown investigating as photos are taken of screens and messages from hackers calling Evin a “black mark” on Raisi’s image and promising protests until political prisoners be released. Hojjat Fadaei, Internet Security Expert, Iran International TV told Iran on Sunday. that these images revealed that the hackers had accessed data of a “very large” range.

There is no history of hackers of Edalat-e Ali, whose name refers to the “founder” of Shia Islam, but Tapandegan has claimed responsibility for hacking several Iranian government agencies over the past three years. In their first action in May 2018, the group hacked into the systems of Mashhad International Airport and posted anti-government messages and images on arrival and departure information screens. Airport authorities shut down screens for several hours, but images were posted on social media showing slogans denouncing the “waste of Iranians’ lives and financial resources in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.” Tapandegan made a similar attack on Tabriz airport a month later.

The group claimed in July 2018 that it hacked the email accounts of Tehran Municipality officials and the email accounts of Public Television (IRIB) officials in January 2019. It also claimed responsibility for an attack on the IT systems of the Mashhad Airport in April 2019. In October 2018, Cyber ​​Police Chief Kamal Hadianfar claimed that the hackers behind the first attack at the airport had been arrested.

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