The Ahwaz Organization for the Defense of Human Rights warns against liquidating political prisoners under the pretext of an outbreak of Coronavirus in Iranian prisons

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04 Apr 2020

The organization’s sources confirmed that the regime transferred several political prisoners to an unknown location under the pretext that they had contracted the Coronavirus. In this regard, many families of the prisoners gathered on Tuesday in front of the Sepidar and Shiban prison in Ahwaz because the prisoners lost contact with their families, which raises concerns. There is no official authority in the prison administration that has responded to those families who are hopeless about their children’s’ fate.

These fears increased after the prison doors were opened for the prisoners to escape in a semi-fabricated way, only to get arrested again. This is believed to be one of the reasons for the COVID-19 virus to reach the prisoners in large numbers. We can see such cases in different prisons such as as the Parsilon prison in the city of Khorramabad and the Alogoders prison in the province of Lorestan, the Tabriz prison in eastern Azerbaijan, the Saqqaz prison in the Kurdistan province, the prison Alvand in Hamadan, Adelabad prison, in Shiraz. These fears extend to those held in the “Sepidar and Shaiban” prisons and those held as prisoners of conscience, political activists and clerics.

After fears of the spread of the Coronavirus in prisons, the prisoners requested a temporary leave from the prisons due to the lack of sterilizers and for fear of the fragility of the health system in prisons. On Monday, the men in the men’s section at Sepidar Prison in Ahwaz held protests for the second time. Two prisoners were killed and a large number were injured. I have posted videos on social media showing massive fire and live fire from inside the prison building “Sepidar”.

Rahman Javed, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council that the estimated number of prisoners in Iran is at 189,500. The organization confirmed that in the event of the spread of Corona (COVID-19) in Iranian prisons due to overcrowding of prisoners, it will be practically impossible to take measures such as quarantine, physical separation, and constant washing of soap to prevent this epidemic.

Various human rights activists believe that the spread of the Coronavirus in prisons is one of the methods of the Iranian regime to get rid of political prisoners, especially those sentenced to death.

That is why the “organization” demands all international institutions to intervene and pressure the Iranian regime to investigate deaths in prisons and to know the causes of death and whether they are related to the Coronavirus, or as human rights activists believe liquidating political detainees, demanding the international community to carry out its humanitarian duty towards all detainees in the cells of the system Iranian.

Ahwaz Organization for the Defense of Human Rights

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