Prisoners riot in Iran amid coronavirus outbreak
Date: 2020-03-30 15:39
Prisoners in southern Iran broke cameras and caused other damage during a riot, regime media reported Monday (March 30), the latest in a series of violent prison disturbances in Iran, which is battling the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.
Iranian regime had temporarily released around 100,000 prisoners as part of measures taken to contain the pandemic, leaving an estimated 50,000 people behind bars, including violent offenders and so-called "security cases," often dual nationals and others with Western ties.
Families of detainees and Western nations say Iran is holding those prisoners for political reasons or to use them as bargaining chips in negotiations.
The regime-run IRNA news agency quoted Gov. Enayatollah Rahimi of the southern Fars province as saying a riot broke out at Adel Abad Prison, the main lockup in the city of Shiraz. Rahimi said prisoners broke cameras and caused other damage in two sections housing violent criminals. No one was wounded and no one escaped.
IRNA reported Friday that 70 inmates had escaped Saqqez Prison in Iran´s western Kurdistan province. Prisoners beat guards during the chaos, a local prosecutor said. Several inmates later returned on their own to the prison.
Since the beginning of the year, riots have broken out in prisons in Aligudarz, Hamedan and Tabriz as well, with some prisoners escaping, IRNA reported.
Iran has reported more than 40,000 infections and 2,757 deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, including 117 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry says more than 3,500 people are in critical condition, while around 14,000 have recovered.
Based on AP