Release of hundreds of prisoners will stop spread of coronavirus.
BERLIN—The London-based human rights organization Amnesty International urged on Thursday that the head of the judiciary for the Islamic Republic of Iran release all political prisoners and human rights defenders held in its vast penal system.
According to the letter, “In several prisons across the country, prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19, raising grave concerns for other prisoners held in the same wards. According to the World Health Organization, some groups of people appear to be at particular risk of severe illness or death, including older individuals and people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Iran’s prison population includes such groups. Additionally, some prisoners have been systematically denied adequate medical care, which could leave them more vulnerable to the effects of the virus if they contracted it.”
Amnesty said it “has documented the denial of adequate medical care as a punitive measure against prisoners of conscience. Many prisoners across the country have pleaded with officials to address overcrowded, unhygienic and unsanitary conditions in prisons that put them at greater risk of COVID-19 infections. There are also reports that some prisoners have not been provided with sufficient soap or other sanitary products.
Many families have also raised concerns for the wellbeing of jailed relatives and believe that the Iranian authorities should be systematically testing prisoners who may be showing symptoms of COVID-19.”