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Iran Prison Atlas

Using Interactive Data to Expose Iranian Prisons

What is the Iran Prison Atlas?

Iran Prison Atlas, an ongoing project of United for Iran, is the most comprehensive database of current Iranian political prisoners, the judges that convict them, and prisons that hold them.

Iran Prison Atlas’ interactive tools allow users to identify patterns of abuse by Iranian judges, mistreatment at various detention centers, and conviction trends based on race, religion, gender, activity, and other classifications. Over 900 current political prisoners, 200 judges, and 150 prisons are profiled.

Designed in collaboration with Small Media, Iran Prison Atlas is a continuation of the Political Prisoners Database which was developed by United for Iran in 2011. Staff and volunteers of United for Iran have spent more than ten thousand hours verifying the data in Iran Prison Atlas. The lead Iran Prison Atlas researcher is a former political prisoner.


Iran Prison Atlas is an advocacy tool for NGOs, activists, foreign governments, and all people working to improve human rights in Iran. The Atlas is designed to record the treatment of every current Iranian political prisoner.


Key people in the Iranian human rights movement are using the Atlas. Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, relies on the Atlas in his reports. Iran Prison Atlas has also been a pivotal tool in encouraging countries to vote for UN resolutions calling on Iran to improve its human rights record.

The Mechanism

The Iran Prison Atlas is a dynamic tool that collects, integrates, and creates a visual map of all the critical information on political prisons, prisoners, and judges. The Atlas enables users not only to zoom in and see the story of one person, but also to zoom out and see patterns and trends of abuse among Iranian prisons and judges. The Atlas pairs unique stories with the big picture, and is a valuable tool for anyone working for judicial and prison reform and the release of all political prisoners.

A real-time interactive map shows the distribution and the population of political prisoners in each prison. Users can monitor trends or drill into the data by focusing, for example, only on lockups administered by Ministry of Intelligence.

A demographic matrix helps users sort current political prisoners based on ethnicity, gender, charges, and other classifications. Finally, Iran Prison Atlas ranks judges based on a number of factors, including those who have given the highest average prison terms against current political prisoners, highest total verdicts against political prisoners, or highest number of procedural violations against political prisoners.


Share the Iran Prison Atlas with your network. Click on the take action button to support an individual prisoner or a class of persecuted people in Iran. You can contact us with information or questions at