Despite claims of taking action, the regime officials have not adopted any effective measures to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak from spreading in Iranian prisons.
In Rajai Shahr Prison prisoners suspected of contracting the Coronavirus are kept in public wards without any preventive measures.
Even prisoners with fever and severe coughs received a quick check-up and returned to the ward enter temperature checks.
According to inmates, despite the authorities’ of refusal to accept new prisoners, new prisoners enter the prison just like before. Even the sending of prisoners to courts continues.
In addition, on Wednesday, February 26, a number of inmates were transferred from the Greater Tehran Penitentiary to Rajai Shahr prison for cooking and other services.
The prison is in an alarming state and the lives of prisoners are seriously in danger because of low level of hygiene in overcrowded wards and lack of medical treatment for prisoners suspected of contracting COVID-19 coronavirus.
Elsewhere, at least seven prisoners have been infected with COVID-19. The names of three prisoners infected with the virus are: Saeed Hemmati, Meysam Monouri, and, Mohammad Hassam Rahimi.
Prison authorities did not provide any information about the COVID-19 outbreak in prison.
The lives of the prisoners are seriously in danger because no serious measures are taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
In another development, a 44-year-old inmate died in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary (GTP), According to the state-run ROKNA news agency. Hamid-Reza who was suspected of contracting the Coronavirus was not sent to hospital to receive adequate medical treatment. Hamid-Reza, convicted of a financial offense, had the symptoms of a cold. After a few days, he started coughing and then he lost his life in detention.
Local reports and messages from Iranians indicate that the number of Iran’s COVID-19 outbreak fatalities and infections are much higher than officials have announced.
On Tuesday, February 25, Kianush Jahanpur, the Head of Public Relations of the Ministry of Health, said there had been no “particular reports of confirmed cases” in prisons but some social media users have claimed that there is a COVID-19 outbreak in Karaj Central and Evin prisons.
There have been reports in recent days on the COVID-19 outbreak in prisons. At least several prisoners in the prisons of Urmia, Qezel Hessar, and Khorramabad are suspected of contracting the Coronavirus.
The families of prisoners in recent days have warned against the COVID-19 outbreak.
In an open letter published on February 20, relatives of prisoners of conscience who were imprisoned in Iran after publicly calling on the supreme leader to resign have called on Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi to allow their loved ones to go on furlough to protect them from contracting the potentially deadly coronavirus.
“Given the very worrying news about the spread of the coronavirus in the country’s prisons, we the families of 14 political prisoners held in Mashhad, Tehran and Kashan prisons, who petitioned [for Ali Khamenei’s resignation], call on the state to release them or grant them furlough, especially the women prisoners, as soon as possible to prevent a great humanitarian catastrophe,” the families said.
Reza Khandan, the husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, has also called on Iranian authorities to release his wife and other prisoners to the extent possible to protect them from contracting the coronavirus in overcrowded prisons.
“After my detention last year, I was incarcerated with 60 people inside a 72-square-meter room,” he wrote on Facebook on February 26, 2020, referring to the time he spent in Tehran’s Evin Prison for peacefully advocating women’s rights. “The room was in a ward with 10 large and small rooms holding 250 people. The first person who enters the area without initial symptoms of the disease can immediately infect hundreds of people with the virus.”
Iran Human Rights Monitor website is dedicated to support the Iranian people’s struggle for human rights and amplifies their voices on the international stage. Its purpose is to cover executions, arbitrary arrests, torture and amputation, prison’s conditions, women, social, ethnic and religious minorities oppression news in Iran and fill the gaps in information and knowledge caused by lack of access and freedom to Iran. The information provided by Iran Human Rights Monitor are in collaboration with the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran)