Coronavirus in prisons, call on the international community to release hundreds of thousands of inmates to prevent a major catastrophe
Last night, on March 20, 2020, prisoners at the Aligudarz Central Prison, who were in danger of being exposed to the Coronavirus, rebelled and disarmed some of the prison officials, and tried to escape. Clashes between prisoners and guards spread out of prison, and IRGC units entered the scene to suppress the prisoners. The confrontation continued for several hours. Several prisoners managed to escape. Several were killed or injured when the repressive forces opened fire. Several guards were also wounded.
A day before, on March 19, 2020, about 250 prisoners at the Parsilon Khorramabad Prison rebelled, and, after disarming the guards, managed to escape. The Guards and repressive forces opened fire on the fleeing inmates and killed a number of them.
As the number of victims of Coronavirus continues to grow exponentially every day, there is alarming news that inmates are infected, which may lead to a lot of deaths among hundreds of thousands of prisoners, and cause a major catastrophe. However, despite the domestic and international calls, the religious fascism ruling Iran has refused to release the majority of the prisoners, especially political prisoners.
The situation in Tehran and Karaj prisons is dire. The largest prison in Iran, the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary, does not have the minimum hygiene requirements. Coronavirus patients are neither isolated nor quarantined. In Ghezel Hesar Prison, many prisoners have contracted Coronavirus and some have died. The situation is similar in Gohardasht, Evin, and Qarchak Women’s Prison and dozens of large and small prisons in Tehran and Alborz provinces. These prisons are often flowing with prisoners and hold twice or three times their capacity. The situation in prisons in other provinces is even worse.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has repeatedly warned about a major catastrophe in Iranian prisons. She has frequently been calling on the international community to intervene and take urgent action to release prisoners to prevent thousands of deaths.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
March 21, 2020