Iran’s Prison crisis worsening amidst COVID-19 outbreak

Iran like the rest of the world has been battling with the worst of the pandemic and has been witnessing the worst outbreak in the Middle East. To add to the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis is the country’s prisoner crisis.

Iran has reported more than 38,000 infections and 2,640 deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

As part of its measures taken to contain the pandemic, Iran has released around 100,000 prisoners on temporary grounds. The prisoners released have been creating violence in the country, the latest addition being the breaking of the cameras and causing other damage during a riot in Southern Iran.

Iran has held back about 50,000 prisoners for being the so-called “security cases” that the country states to be violent offenders but this move has attracted the nation vast criticism as mostly detained are people holding dual nationalities or with ties with the West. They could later be used as bargaining chips, as claimed by their families and Western nations.

On March 27, per media national reports 70 inmates had escaped Saqqez Prison in Iran’s western Kurdistan province. Since the beginning of the year, riots have broken out in prisons in Aligudarz, Hamedan and Tabriz as well, with some prisoners escaping, reports said.

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