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Iran prisons update: Coronavirus spreading, inmates’ contact cut off

The novel coronavirus is spreading dangerously among Iran’s prison
The novel coronavirus is spreading dangerously among Iran’s prison

Analysis by PMOI/MEK  

Iran, April 14, 2020—Reports from various cities across Iran are portraying a very disturbing image of the novel coronavirus spreading in the regime’s prisons.

Coinciding with the spread of COVID-19 in Zahedan Central Prison of Sistan & Baluchistan Province in southeast Iran authorities have also cut off water to these inmates for the past week, leaving the prisoners in atrocious hygiene conditions. Signs of coronavirus have already been witnessed in various wards of this facility and left a number of the inmates dead.

The number of inmates in these wards is many times above the capacity and there are reports of prisoners suffering from malnutrition. The prisoners are at grave risk considering the ongoing coronavirus crisis that has engulfed the entire country.

Reports from Urmia Central Prison in northwest Iran indicate the dangerous virus is also spreading among inmates in this facility. Authorities were left with no choice but sending 24 very ill inmates to a hospital outside of this facility on Sunday, where they were placed in acute and very critical branches of the hospital. However, prison authorities have refused to take any further measures to test other inmates or prevent the further spread of this virus.

Akbar Nozari, Siavosh Mousazadeh, Ramin Hassanzadeh and Saeed are the names of four of these inmates transferred to a hospital.

On Saturday, April 11, four other inmates of Urmia Central Prison, including Anur Bagherzadeh, lost their lives to COVID-19. These inmates were of wards 3 and 4 in this facility where more than 500 other prisoners are held. Authorities are constantly denying the spread of coronavirus in this facility despite the fact reports indicate many prisoners are ill.

The mullahs’ regime has literally adopted a policy tantamount to burying the inmates alive by refusing to provide running water, basic hygiene necessities and providing medical attention to inmates suffering from COVID-19.

Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has time and again call on the international community to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Iran’s prisons and collect information about the inmates, especially those individuals who have disappeared and injured following the November 2019 nationwide uprising, and now those suffering from COVID-19.



In Tabriz, northwest Iran, authorities have canceled all family visits for the inmates following a recent riot and protests in the city’s central prison on March 26. Anti-riot units are on full alert and soldiers stationed at this prison are not provided their scheduled leaves. Many of these soldiers are saying they will flee if the status quo continues.

Regime authorities refuse to release the inmates or even provide temporary furloughs despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis in Iran, adding the ban on family visits and other restrictions will continue for at least another two months.

On March 26, inmates of wards 7 and 9 in this prison launched a riot protesting the coronavirus spread in this facility and the authorities’ refusal to provide temporary leave considering the dangerous circumstances.

COVID-19 has also spread in the Greater Tehran Prison (Fashafuyeh) located southeast of the Iranian capital, reports indicate, killing at least eight inmates. Food poisoning, contaminated water and any other illness in this facility raises the risk of the inmates being infected with coronavirus.

On Friday, April 10, many of the inmates in this prison suffered poisoning after authorities provided rotten and expired food. This case of food poisoning is being reported at a time when the inmates are already deprived from medical attention and enduring very dire conditions.

The water wells of this prison are only 100 meters away from an industrial livestock complex and the town of Hassan Abad where many industrial sites are located. As a result, the drinking water of the Greater Tehran Prison is mixed with sewage water and extremely contaminated.