Human rights sources have identified more prisoners killed by security forces in Ahvaz prison riots over fears of contracting the coronavirus.
The state security forces responded to the coronavirus-related rioting late March by firing live ammunition and tear gas.
According to prisoners’ relatives, dozens of prisoners were suffocated with teargas, burned to death during a prison riot over conditions, amid an outbreak of Covid-19.
The authorities have tried to cover up the real number of those killed. They have not yet provided accurate numbers of those killed.
The Intelligence Ministry branch in Ahvaz has warned the relatives of the victims of Sheiban and Sepidar prisons, against disclosing the cause of death of their loved ones. In order to prevent the news of the repression of the prisoners, the prison phone lines are cut off, and the (prison) officials do not respond to the families.
Amnesty International said it feared around 36 prisoners have been killed by Iranian regime enforcers attempting to suppress uprisings in at least eight prisons around the country.
Citing sources inside Iran, Amnesty alleged live ammunition was used to quell protests by detainees fearful they would become sick with Covid-19. Amnesty cited at least one case in which a prisoner was possibly beaten to death.
Meanwhile, there are reports indicating that several other inmates have been harmed by security forces during the protests.
The UN human rights spokesperson Rupert Colville voiced concern about the prisoners after reports of unrest in facilities prompted by worries over a coronavirus outbreak in a virtual briefing in Geneva on April 4.
“As you see in Iran and some other countries, we are seeing riots, prisoners who are afraid, who are distressed at the big loss of contact from family members and so on. So, there are many, many issues surrounding this,” Colville said.
“We are horrified at the death of a juvenile offender after he was reportedly badly beaten by security officers,” Colville added. “Prisoners were protesting at prison conditions and the failure of the authorities to temporarily release them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The names of some of the victims are as follows:
- Sajjad Abiat, was shot and wounded on March 30 in Sepidar Prison. He died in a hospital on April 15. He has been imprisoned since last year.
Sajjad Abiat, a prisoner who was wounded during a prison riot late March over conditions, died in a hospital today. Dozens of prisoners in Ahvaz, SW #Iran were killed as the authorities opened fire on detainees fearful they would become sick with #COVID19 https://t.co/tl84clRjit pic.twitter.com/bgbHwExDKI
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 15, 2020
- Seyyed Reza Khorsani (Moghinami), 38
- Mohammad Salamat
Seyyed Reza Khorsani, & Mohammad Salamat were shot & killed Monday night in Sepidar Prison after inmates demanded that they be allowed furloughs in fear of getting #COVID19. The regime has refused to grant the prisoners leave despite #coronavirus outbreak.https://t.co/Q5ArbPel9P pic.twitter.com/VVCLSOHcvH
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 1, 2020
- Amin Abiat
- Shahin Zuhairi
- Mohammad Lefteh
- Ali Khafaji
- Majid Zobidi
- Naser Zobidi
Naser Zobeidi was shot & killed by the IRGC forces during a riot in Sheiban Prison of Ahvaz, SW #Iran. Several prisoners were killed. They were protesting the authorities not temporarily releasing them despite #coronavirus outbreak. #COVID19 https://t.co/tl84clRjit pic.twitter.com/QTpwC4miZq
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 3, 2020
- Sajjad Pishdad
- Alireza Hajivand
Sajjad Pishdad and Alireza Hajivand were shot and killed in Ahvaz's Sepidar Prison in southwest #Iran after prisoners demanded that they be allowed furloughs in fear of getting #COVID19.#CoronavirusPandemic https://t.co/tl84clRjit pic.twitter.com/aNIf4sLjat
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 3, 2020
- Majid Qeitasi, 25
- Sorush Makvandi, suffocated with tear gas
Sorush Makvandi is one of the prisoners killed by security forces amid rioting over fears of contracting the #coronavirus in SW #Iran prisons
Dozens were killed after the authorities used lethal force to control protests over #COVID19 safety fears.https://t.co/tl84clRjit pic.twitter.com/E8VfeQ2Mnr
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) April 17, 2020
- Adel Naseri, 35; He was acquitted of a murder charge and was awaiting the outcome of the appeal. His family were told on April 6 that Nasser died for unknown reasons. His body was handed over to the family on April 8. When he was buried, his relatives found out that he had been hit in the head and face.
- Ali Zargani, 21 was killed on March 30. Prison authorities called his family 10 days later and told them to come pick up their son’s body.
- Mohammad Tamoli, 25, had been serving a seven-year-prison.
- Faizullah Mokhtari was shot in the head. Suffocation is written as the cause on his death certificate.