Amnesty International: Iran ignores protection of prisoners from Coronavirus

Amnesty International has announced that the Iranian government has ignored urgent requests by detention center officials, that is calling for more means to prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus.

"Amnesty" said in a statement that it "read copies of four letters signed by officials of the Detentions Organization in Iran addressed to the Ministry of Health, raising the alarm about the serious shortage of protection equipment, sterile materials and basic medical equipment," and added that "the ministry did not respond, and the detentions are still catastrophically "ill equipped to cope with pandemics.

The organization pointed out that "the details contained in these letters contrast sharply with the public statements of the advisor to the head of the Iranian Detentions Service, Asghar Jahangir, who denied information about increasing the number of injuries and deaths caused by Coffid-19 in prisons."

And the London-based organization considered that "these official messages constitute definitive evidence of the government's terrible failure to protect prisoners", and condemned "prison overcrowding, poor ventilation, lack of basic health equipment and medical materials in Iranian prisons, and deliberate neglect of the detainees' health problems."

The organization added that all these factors make Iranian prisons "an ideal environment for Covid-19," and called on the Iranian authorities to "stop denying the health crisis in Iranian prisons and take urgent measures to protect the health of prisoners."

Since last March, more than 100,000 prisoners have benefited from exit permits or reduced sentences to limit the spread of the pandemic in the detentions, but UN Human Rights Council experts have finally condemned prisoners' lack of access to this.

Iran is the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the Middle East, and health authorities set a new record of deaths from the virus on Tuesday, amounting to 235 deaths within 24 hours, according to Agence France-Presse.



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