Iran’s judiciary says diplomats from 28 countries and representatives of international organizations have visited the women's ward at the notorious Gharchak (Qarchak) Prison south of Tehran.

Mizan, the Judiciary News Agency, reported Thursday that a delegation of 36 diplomats visited the penitentiary on Wednesday without citing the names of either the organizations or countries represented.

The visit comes about a month after the transfer of political prisoners from the prison and a few days after several detained female protesters revealed sexual assaults in Gharchak and Evin prisons.

"The women's penitentiary was chosen so that foreign guests can see the unique and diverse services and facilities for female inmates and get a correct understanding of the principles of Islamic prisons," claimed Kazem Gharibabadi, Secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights.

Pointing out that about 700 women are incarcerated in Gharchak prison, Gharibabadi claimed that women make up about 2.5% of Iran's prison population, which indicates "a very low rate of crime among Iranian women compared to the global rate."

In the past few days, several Iranian female political activists have spoken up about prison guards forcing them to strip naked, even in front of cameras, to humiliate them. Others have spoken of full sexual assault and rape. 

Anti-compulsory hijab activist, Mozhgan Keshavarz, told Iran International that she was first strip-searched after her arrest in April 2019 and detention at Vozara Detention Center in Tehran where the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in custody on September 16 last year.

Since her revelations, other female activists including Zeynab Zaman, Nasibeh Shamsaei, Shaparak Shajarizadeh and actress Mahnaz Afshar who were subjected to the same humiliation have also come forward with their stories.

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