Comprehensive Report on the Situation of Prisoners in Regard to Corona Epidemic in Country’s Different Prisons

Massive reports from different prisons of the country indicate the spread of coronavirus in prisons. The disease has spread to Greater Tehran Prison (Fashafuyeh), Gohardasht Prison, Ghezel Hesar, Markazi, Karaj, Orumieh, Shiban Ahvaz,Kashan Prisons and other prisons in the country.

The international community, international organizations and civil and political activists have repeatedly called on the Iranian government for temporarily release of prisoners to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in prisons.

The Iranian judiciary, despite demands by international organizations, refuses to release prisoners in various prisons even with heavy bail, and virtually prevents the transfer of even limited sanitation items to prisons.

Authorities deny the Corona outbreak in prisons and with the news censorship, saying that the prisons are safe from virus, but in fact the number of prisoners with the virus is growing rapidly.

Many political prisoners in prisons across the country continue to be denied, despite the Chief Justice’s ruling on granting a temporary release for prisons with sentences up to five years.

According to sources in various prisons, conditions in these prisons are not safe and disinfected, and the spread of coronavirus is taking place inside the prisons.

According to news from prisons, the Coronavirus has spread to most of the country’s prisons, including the Greater Tehran Prison, with a large number of inmates being infected with the virus, with most suffering from serious illnesses and several prisoners have died.

An inmate at Fashafuyeh Prison in a call to the East newspaper office described the prison’s health as very worrying.

“The most important shortage these days in prison are sanitizers. The prisoner said that because the sanitizers base is alcohol, they do not distribute them in the prison. He also said that prisoners’ access to the bathroom and bath are also very limited. In a ward with 150 inmates, only four bathrooms are available and prisoners can use them in just certain hours.

One inmate from the Greater Tehran Prison also released a “voice file” on the dangerous situation of the Corona in Prison. In the voice file he said that more than 40 prisoners had been infected with virus in Fashafuyeh Prison and there is no preventing measure set in prison to deal with this epidemic.

According to Human Rights Watch in Iran, the coronavirus has spread to Greater Tehran Prison, but authorities have so far failed to clean the prison from the virus.

In ward 1 of prison, 1 person was infected with the coronavirus who died. In ward 2, one inmate has virus. In ward 5, seven prisoners were confirmed positive.

Corona virus outbreaks in Iranian prisons, while many inmates are deprived of minimum health and welfare facilities, according to news released by inmates.

The Prisons Organization has not taken any measures to protect the prisoners and has refused to grant prisoners temporarily release.

Amir Hossein Moradi from Ward 5 of Cell No. 14 of Greater Tehran Prison, one of the detainees during November protests who is sentenced to death, has been transferred to solitary confinement in ward 1, cell 11, after he was tested positive

At least 19 other Abadan November Protest detainees, including Jamil Ghahramani, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, Milad Arsanjani, Mohammad Taghi Pakpour, Mohammad Adam, and Ali Becass, were transferred to solitary confinement cell No. 11 Ward 1 in Tehran Grand Prison.

Mehrdad Mohammadnejad, Mohammad Habibi and Soheil Arabi continue to be held in the Greater Tehran Prison ward 5. After they asked for disinfecting the ward, the  prison officials have told them that they should do it with their personal expenses.

  • Prisoners’ family concerned about prison conditions due to Corona outbreak

Azar Bazargan, mother of Narges Mohammadi, a political prisoner in Zanjan Prison, in a letter to the head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ibrahim Raisi, while is noting the lack of  cleaning and sanitizing items for her daughter, reported on her daughter been threatened with sexual and physical violance.

Nahid Kermanshahi, a Hengameh Shahidi’s mother, says that in a communication with her daughter, she noted of her dissatisfaction with the health status of the women’s ward in prison, especially when Corona has spread to the community.

She told Ensaf News that Hengameh called for a few minutes, and she was sick with sever cough. Hengameh has heart problem and was saying that prison health condition is not good, the prison health care should not be turned into a security, they do not provide masks.

Asghar Sepehri, brother of Fatemeh Sepehri, a political activist in jail, tweeted: “Her sister in a phone call from Vakilabad Prison in Shiraz, saying that they had transferred prisoners to another crowded ward and assigned their ward to prisoners suspected of Corona.

The family of Athena Daemi, a detained civil activist in Evin Prison, announced that in midst of the Corona outbreak in in prisons, a new case had been filed for Atena for her support of November Protesters deaths.

Athena’s father in a video reported of the condition of her illness and denying a temporarily release for his daughter and her summons for filing a new case.

  • Families of environmental activist prisoners concern about the possibility of them infected by corona

Families of environmental activists in a letter to the head of the judiciary, Ibrahim Raisi, demanded that their family members be granted a temporarily prison leave.

According to IRNA, these families have expressed concern about the possibility of a corona outbreak in the prison, which have nothing to do with the “crime type” and “length of sentence” of prisoners.

They criticized and wrote that these detained activists were excluded from the Chief Justice’s directive to grant temporarily leave to inmates, and wrote that they were awaiting an appeal.

These families wrote to the chief, “Does expediency and justice dictate that our loved ones be excluded in this dangerous and disturbing situation?” They added: “The granting of temporarily leave is a remedy to their two-year pain, separation and concern.”

  • Letter from four Iranian parliamentarians to the Minister of Health regarding the temporarily release of political prisoners

Four Iranian parliamentarians wrote a joint letter to the Minister of Health and Medical Education, Saeed Nemaki, asking him to negotiate with the judiciary to provide temporarily release for political prisoners to prevent getting corona.

“This is why the Minister of Health was asked, to avoid political and social costs in the future,” Abdul Karim Hosseinzadeh, head of the Majlis Citizenship Rights faction, told ILNA on Tuesday March 10th, 2020.

In addition, representatives of Tehran, Tayebe Siavashi and Fatemeh Saeedi, and Qazvin and Abike representatives, Hamideh Zarrabadi, have also signed the letter.

Hosseinzadeh continued and referring to the circular of Ibrahim Raisi, the head of the judiciary, for facilitating prisoners’ release with up to five-year sentence and said, “The disease does not know age, it should not have provision and I believe the judiciary should add an amendment to this directive.”

  • Javid Rahman, UN Special Rapporteur on the Corona Crisis in Iranian Prisons

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Javed Rahman said this is a “sad and disturbing fact” that Iran continued to hold political prisoners in prison, as the coronavirus spread in the country.

Iranian authorities announced on Monday that to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, they had sent 7,000 prisoners to temporally leave so far. But most of political, conscience, human rights, and civil activists are in prison.

Mr Rahman continued: “dual citizen prisoners are still at risk in prison if they have not yet been exposed to the Coronavirus. They are really worried about these conditions and are scared.”

Javid Rahman went on to say: “All these conditions are of concern and therefore I have proposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all prisoners temporarily.”

  • Open Letter from Sunni Political Prisoners of Rajai Shahr to World Assemblies and Law Organizations; Expresses Extreme Concern over Corona Outbreak in Prison

Part of this letter reads:

We, the 100 Sunni religious prisoners of conscience detained in Rajai Shahr Prison, held in three separate halls 11, 21 and 36, are deeply concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, and conditions inside the prison. Through this open letter, we call on international communities and law agencies, and in particular the World Health Organization, to prevent the possibility of a deadly catastrophe due to the Coronavirus in prison.

We hereby declare that whatever will happen to the Sunni political prisoners of Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj will be the responsibility of the judiciary and the organization of prisons and security agencies. We will hold them responsible. It is important to note that the order of the head of the judiciary to grant political prisoners with up to five years sentence temporarily leave is completely discriminatory and unethical.

  • Statement by four political prisoners in Evin Prison on delay in sending political prisoners on temporarily leave

Part of the statement reads:

With the Corona virus in the country and the secrecy and negligence of the authorities responsible for it, now this fatal disease has become a fatal catastrophe that has claimed the lives of dozens of Iranians across the country daily.

However, despite the explicitly directive on the release of prisoners and their dismissal of releasing prisoners in the present critical situation where prisoners’ lives are in grave danger, the order is quite appropriate, necessary and justifiable; We are seeing failure to this directive by prosecutors and judges overseeing prisons, especially with regard to political prisoners.

Therefore, we political prisoners who have signed the Declaration, announce that the serious and irreparable dangers arising from this delay in general of releasing prisoners  and in particular any barriers to the release of political prisoners are the responsibilities of both the executive and the judiciary and the entire sovereignty of the country.

Majid Azarpi, Amir Salar Davoodi, Ismail Abdi, Jafar Azimzadeh

  • Statement by a number of prisoners in the November uprising in Evin Prison on the Corona disaster:

We a group of inmates from the November uprising in Evin, in sympathy with the Iranian public, who, once again, have been victims of the inhumane and inhumane policies of the country, should sought the root of the virus that has ruled the country for 40 years. The government’s suppression and secrecy has turned the virus into a national catastrophe, with people living in the worst conditions to face the Coronavirus and being deprived of minimum international standards.

In this tragedy, prisoners are no exception and are in dire straits. With inmates facing a shortage of masks, sanitizers, and drugs in prison, in recent days, despite seasonal outbreaks in prison and some inmates suffering from coronavirus, doctors have deliberately refused medical examination of prisoners with corona symptoms. Patients are eventually returned to prison under various pretexts without examination and prescription despite prolonged hospitalization and waiting. Prison authorities do not even allow medicine to be received through the families of prisoners.

We call on the World Health Organization and the international human rights defender to visit prisons to save lives and protect prisoners, to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

  • Status of foreign prisoners and dual nationals in a coronavirus outbreak

French concerns over health of two French researchers jailed in Iran

The French Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the health of Iranian-French researcher Fariba Adelkhah and another French prisoner in prison, Roland Marshall, in light of the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.

France has asked Islamic Republic authorities to allow doctors in the “shortest possible time” to examine the health of the two prisoners while in prison.

The French Foreign Ministry said in the end: “We are working tirelessly for Roland Marshall for better detention and regular consular access and in line with Iran’s international obligations.”

Earlier, Richard Retcliffe, the wife of Nazanin Zaghari, a prisoner of Iranian-British citizen, had said that after contacting her at Evin Prison, his wife was likely infected with the Coronavirus. Mr Retcliffe mentioned Nazanin Zaghari cold and sore throats. He had insisted that he ask the British government to contact the Iranian government to conduct corona test on her

  • Imprisoned teachers

A small proportion of inmates are teachers’ union activists who are in prison for pursuing teachers rights, of course, with unspecified and security offenses, and like other inmates at risk of being infected with coronavirus. They were fighting for teachers and students’ rights and do not deserve to be imprisoned in such distressing conditions.

  • Disagreement to temporarily release and deprivation of leave – Five Kurdish labor activists from November protest, Baha’is and…

Denial of treatment for political Prisoner, Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi

Abbas Vahedian Shahroudi, a civil activist, writer and political prisoner held in Ward 4 of Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad, after spread of corona has been having corona-like symptoms, including dry cough, lung infection and long sounds while breathing, as well as the presence of pierced teeth in the gums, severe physical weakness, vision impairment. He has been deprived of access to medical care and any treatment. The political prisoner remains detained at Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad for more than six months with a pending case.

  • Disagreement with Hadi Tonumand, a labor activist on temporary prison leave.

Hadi Tanumand, a labor activist who is serving a 3-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Bukan County, has been denied temporarily prison leave despite his illness.

Hadi Tanumand is suffering from asthma and migraine and should not be exposed to the virus and it is essential to stay in a healthy place.

  • Prevention of Leave of Behnam Eskandarian; Baha’i Prisoner in Semnan

“Behnam Eskandarian”  Baha’i prisoners who have been serving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Semnan prison for more than ten months was denied a temporarily prison leave.

A relative of the Baha’i citizen told Iranweir: “Last week, prison authorities agreed to Bahman’s leave request and were granted bail, but after a few days they said Behnam’s condition was different from other prisoners, and it is necessary to ask Semnan Intelligence Office to do so.

  • Prevention of temporarily release of three Baluchi political prisoners despite corona spread in Zahedan prison

 The release of three Baluchi political prisoners has been denied; they have been in prison for five years and have not been on temporarily released.

According to a Baluch activist campaign, three political prisoners, Abdulhamid Kahrazae, Atullahallah Hoot and Abdulsamad Hoot, also denied temporarily prison release.

  • Majid Azarpi, Political Prisoner denied temporary prion release After Corona Outbreak

Majid Azarpi, a political prisoner detained in Greater Tehran Prison, serving a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence, was denied release, despite providing the bail money. Due to the spread of the Corona virus in Iran, prisoners held in prisons are at risk of contracting the virus.

  • Five Kurdish labor activists denied temporarily prison leave despite new judiciary directive

Five Kurdish labor activists, named Khabat Dahdar, Hadi Tanumand, Zaniar Dabbaghian, Tawfiq Mahmoudi and Ishagh Rouhi, remain in jail despite the the new judicial directive and are being denied temporarily leave.

  • Failure to respond to Sepideh Farhan temporarily prison leave request

Reportedly, despite concerns over the spread of Corona in Iranian prisons, the request for temporarily prison leave for Sepideh Farhan, a graphic student imprisoned in Evin Prison, has not yet been answered.

  • Hamed Ayenvand’s uncertainty over granting temporarily prison leave

Hussein Bayat, a lawyer for jailed journalist Hamed Ayenvand, told Iran International that he had twice returned to Evin Prison and tried to pursue for his client’s leave request, saying that “his visits were fruitless, and was asked to come next week

Disagreement with Zainab Jalalian’s temporarily prison leave and continued detention of political prisoners despite coronation risk

Despite reports of corona outbreaks in Iranian prisons, authorities continue to oppose Zeinab Jalalian’s temporarily prison leave. Zainab, a political prisoner in Khoy, was denied a leave for medical treatment. Zainab Jalalian’s requested a medical leave due to eye, mouth and abdominal illnesses.

  • Summoned and detention in Corona outbreak situation

Mehdi Hajati, a member of the Shiraz City Council and a former political prisoner, was arrested by the Branch 6 of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court on March 12th, 2020. Mr. Hajati was just been released from prison.

Three members of the Iranian Writers’ Association, who were previously sentenced to 15 years and six months in prison, were summoned to jail for serve their sentences.

Keyvan Bojan, Bektash Abtin and Reza Khandan Mahabadi, three members of the Writers’ Association, in a statement to the Iranian Human Rights Campaign on Thursday, confirmed the news and announcement that their summon is to create “panic” and “terror” in the community.

  • Prisoners who granted the temporarily prison leave:

Following the Corona outbreak in Iran, according to judicial authorities, 54,000 prisoners have been released temporarily.

Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi, a trade unionist and spokesman for the Tehran Teachers’ Trade Union, was sent on leave, according to the Coordination Council of Iranian Cultural Associations. He was imprisoned in Evin Prison.

Nahid Kermanshahi, mother of Hengameh Shahidi, a jailed journalist, told Ensaf News that her daughter had been released from prison.

Azerbaijani National Civil Activist, Ibrahim Nuri was released on bail for the first time after about 21 months of imprisonment on March 12th, 2020.

  • Corona patients and victims in prison

Amir Hossein Moradi, a political prisoner from November Protest, who was sentenced to death, is among those at Fashafoyeh Prison that has corona.

Two Political prisoners in Shiban prison in Ahwaz have also been infected with corona and transferred to prison quarantine and there is no information available on them.

  • Death of a Prisoner suspected of being infected with Corona in Greater Tehran Prison

Hamid Reza, a 34-year-old serving his sentence in the Greater Tehran Prison, initially noticed the symptoms of the cold and died in prison a few days later after his coughing began.

So far, one inmate at Orumie prison has died of coronavirus and five inmates have been transferred to medical centers.

Hamed Soheili, officer of Lacan Rasht Prison Guard died from Corona. Lacan prisoners at risk of coronavirus.

Mohammad Ghanbardoust, a Sunni prisoner of conscience in Urmia Prison, was taken to the outpatient hospital on Monday, March 2nd, 2020. Due to his sever health condition, he was transferred to a hospital outside prison. Most likely, Mr. Ghanbardoust’s disease will be diagnosed as coronavirus.

 At the same time, two drug-related offenses inmates tested positive for corona and are currently quarantined in prison.

Ward 4 of Evin Prison confirmed a case of corona while a number of political prisoners were on hunger strike with poor bodies and poor health.

 In Rajaee Shahr prison in Karaj, a duty soldier returned from the hospital was reported positive.

 Corona suspects in Urmia, Sanandaj, Khorramabad, Gorgan, Greater Tehran and many other prisons are on the rise. In a report, Haryana reported on the cancellation of 20 political prisoners transfer who were suspected or infected with the coronavirus in the Greater Tehran Prison and were being transferred to the Alireza Shirmohammadi.

The corona outbreak is deadly while inmates across prisons across the country are deprived of the minimum health facilities needed to diagnose or prevent the spread of coronavirus. The number of prisoners with suspected coronavirus in various prisons nationwide is increasing.

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