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Coronavirus Outbreak in Iran: Regime’s Cover-Up and Inaction Will Result in Humanitarian Catastrophe in Prisons

Coronavirus outbreak in Iran: Regime’s cover-up and inaction will result in humanitarian catastrophe in prisons
Iranian regime’s cover-up and inaction will result in humanitarian catastrophe in prisons

Reports obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) indicate that due to the coronavirus’ spread in Iranian prisons, and the regime’s inaction and cover-up, the situation in Iranian prisons has become critical.

The situation of prisons as it relates to the spread of COVID19 is very dire. Most prisoners in Evin Prison’s Ward 4 have been infected with Coronavirus and are suffering from dry cough, fever, shivering, and diarrhea. 

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, the mullahs’ regime in order to avoid a popular uprising, resorted to a criminal cover-up and inaction. The regime tried to downplay the crisis.  People were not alerted, and the quarantining period started very late, and it was not accompanied with government financial backing of the people. Therefore, the Iranian people were ravaged with poverty and hunger. Fearing an army of hungry people rising up, the regime forced back people back to work, accepting thrisk that there would be more casualties and a possible social outrage.  

The situation in Iranian prisons was more deplorable. Instead of releasing prisoners or increasing the hygienic facilities, the regime further increased oppressive measures and denied inmates access to medical care.  

The regime’s systematic cover-up and oppressive measures resulted in dozens of rebellions by the inmates who rightly demanding to be released. Yet, the regime responded with bullets. Dozens of inmates were killed. Mostafa Salimi, along with two juvenile offendersShayan Saeedpor and Danial Zeinolabedini, were killed, the first two by hanging and the latter under torture, for participating in prison riots.  

The prison riots in various cities across the country undermined the regime’s claims and indicated that the assertion was a deceptive act and the prisoners, especially political prisoners, are still in prisons in extremely dangerous conditions. 

Although the destabilization of the regime’s control of prisons demonstrates the depth of its instability and desperation in controlling Iran’s explosive society, which is in a bigger de facto prison, the regime’s criminal decision of not releasing prisoners should not be ignored.  

The Iranian regime, through its lobbyists and apologists, has been trying to use the coronavirus as a lever of pressure on the international community to lift sanctions on the regime. The regime tries to depict United States sanctions, which have indeed crippled the regime’s warmongering machine and funding of terrorism, as the reason for the coronavirus high mortality rate in Iran.   

The mullahs’ handling of the situation in prisons and their approach toward inmates alone debunks this bogus claim. Therefore, it is the international community’s duty to not succumb to the regime’s chantage and intervene immediately to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in Iranian prisons.  

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), expressed dismay over the United Nations Security Council’s inaction about the egregious state of prisoners in Iran. She said: Political prisoners in Evin and other prisons have contracted Coronavirus, but the regime is neither releasing, nor quarantining, nor treating them”. This is death by attrition. Simultaneously, the regime has embarked on successive hangings even in the month of Ramadan to intimidate and terrorize the people, including today’s hangings in Urmia and Sanandaj prisons.  

Mrs. Rajavi again urged the international community, especially the Security Council, to act to stop the executions and secure the release of prisoners, particularly political prisoners. She added: Silence vis-à-vis the atrocities perpetrated in prisons by the clerical regime is tantamount to disregard for humanitarian principles that humankind has offered millions of victims.