News : Human rights
- Published: Wednesday, 04 March 2020
Iranian political prisoners infected (or suspected of being infected) with the Coronavirus (Covid19) are being held amongst dangerous prisoners on the quarantine ward.
Amir Hossein Moradi, a peaceful protester arrested during the uprising in November 2019 and sentenced to death, was moved to Suite 11 of Ward 1 of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary after testing positive for the virus.
Nineteen other protesters arrested in November and suspected of contracting Coronavirus, including Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, Milad Arsanjani, and Jamil Ghahremani, have been moved to the same room, following Moradi’s positive test result.
Tamjidi and Rajabi have also been sentenced to death for taking part in the November uprising.
They were told that they were being taken to the hospital of Yaftabad, according to a source close to the family of one of these prisoners, but in the last moments before leaving the prison, they were told that plans had changed and they were being moved to Ward 1, which is where dangerous criminals are held.
The political prisoners are being kept in a room next door to inmates convicted of violent offenses, which is a violation of the principle of separating prisoners into different categories.
This puts the political prisoners in real danger because of the history of the regime authorities using violent criminals to murder prisoners of conscience, like the case of Alireza Shir Mohammadi. He was stabbed to death in June 2019 by violent offenders on Ward 1.
Not only are the political prisoners less safe, but Ward 1 also has fewer facilities than other parts of the prison. For instance, it does not have a store where they could buy soap to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. (The regime barely provides running water, let alone soap.)
Coronavirus is an issue in prisons all over Iran as the enclosed, overcrowded space, with a lack of access to medical and health resources or healthy food, makes it much easier for the virus to spread.
In some prisons, like Khorramabad and Sanandaj, inmates have been holding protests, threating to go on hunger strike, and demanding that authorities provide medical and health resources and quarantine those infected (of suspected to be infected) with the Coronavirus.
In other prisons, like Karaj, Urmia, Tabriz, and Tehran, the situation is described as volatile.
On February 29, prisoners in Baz Prison of Khorramabad protested the authorities’ refusal to send them on leave despite the outbreak of Coronavirus in this prison.
- Summary of Repression and Violations of Human Rights in Iran – February 2020
- Next:The IRGC and the Coronavirus