Prisoners at risk of Coronavirus infection rebelled in two western Iranian prisons, some managing to escape.
Friday night, March 20, 2020, prisoners in the Central Prison of Aligoudarz, in the western province of Lorestan, rebelled and disarmed some of prison guards, attempting to escape. Clashes ensued between guards and prisoners at risk of Coronavirus infection, extending outside the prison. Units of the Revolutionary Guards intervened and the clashes continued for several hours. A number of prisoners managed to escape, some were shot to death or wounded. Some of the prison guards and IRGC members were also wounded.
The state-run Mehr news agency reported that no one escaped and only one prisoner was killed and one was wounded.
One day earlier, on March 19, 2020, inmates in the Parsilon Prison of Khorramabad (capital of Lorestan Province in western Iran) also had a riot.
Parsilon prisoners at risk of Coronavirus infection rebelled and disarmed prison guards. Some 250 prisoners broke out of prison. Guards fired at them from behind, killing 40 and wounding some 40-50 other prisoners.
No accurate information is available on the number of those killed or wounded and the number of prisoners who escaped. Efforts to arrest the escapees are still underway in Khorramabad.
A soldier who was present in Parsilon Prison said one prisoner was killed and some 40 to 50 were wounded. Local sources say 40 prisoners were killed and 130 escaped. The IRGC-run Fars news agency also reported the incident without going into details.
A former prisoner who served his sentence in Parsilon, described the abysmal prison conditions as the following: “Prisoners escaped because they are treated like animals in this prison.”
The former prisoner said Parsilon authorities force inmates to pay bails considerably higher than in other prisons in order to be granted leave. “Last year, Ramin Biranvand, a young man in his twenties, committed suicide in this prison, because he was told to deposit a bail of 2 billion tomans while 6 government employees had to sign papers as his guarantors. Then, they rejected his leave because he had found 5 employees to guarantee him,” he added.
He said sewing lips and hunger strikes are common among inmates in this prison. “Prisoners who go on hunger strike are throw into cages out in the freezing cold weather. Those who have longer sentences are treated worse.”