WHO expressed concerns about the spread of coronavirus in Iran

With the official report of 18 more cases of coronavirus in Iran and four dead (11 in unofficial reports), the World Health Organization expressed concerns about the spread of the disease in Iran. The director of WHO announced that medical officials are receiving the information about the patients in Iran, “but we must be in closer contact with them”.

He added that the health officials around the world still have time to control the spread of the virus: “This window of opportunity is still open but it is closing.”

 

 

Government of Afghanistan begins negotiation with Taliban for prisoner exchange

A team of three Taliban delegates arrived in Kabul on Tuesday to negotiate prison exchange with the government of Afghanistan. Experts believe this could be a precursor to the negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government’s delegation.

In the recent agreement between the Taliban and the U.S, it was decided that the Taliban and the Afghan government would negotiate over the exchange of 6000 prisoners.

Prisoner exchange has always been one of the main obstacles for the negotiations.

 

Khamenei has not responded to Rouhani’s request to use the Development Fund

Five days after President Rouhani’s request to take one billion dollars out of the National Development Fund to fight the corona crisis, Ayatollah Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic has not approved of his request.

On Thursday, Rouhani announced that he would ask Ayatollah Khamenei to approve of taking one billion dollars out of the National Development Fund.

He said: The country needs more budget in the healthcare area and with the amount we need for unemployment insurance, it comes to a sum of one billion dollars.

Khamenei had previously approved of 200 million Euros to IRGC’s Quds Force and 150 million Euros to the State TV.

Amnesty International demands release of political prisoners due to coronavirus threat

Amnesty International on Thursday addressing Iran's Head of Judiciary regarding COVID-19 called for Iran to 'immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, including human rights defenders and those detained for peacefully taking part in the country-wide November protests in Iran.

The statement goes on to say that many prisoners have been denied the necessary medical treatment which could further endanger their lives.

In recent days several prisons in Iran have witnessed riots.

Death of at least nine prisoners in Iran from COVID-19

Reports from Iran indicate the death of nine prisoners in Fashashuyeh, Qarchak Varamin, and Urmia prisons from COVID-19, but the president of the Prisons Organization in Iran has denied these reports.

On Thursday, it was reported that two prisoners recently died of coronavirus due to lack of medical treatment. One prisoner in Urmia prison and six prisoners have died in Tehran’s central prison.

 

EU sends 20 million Euros in humanitarian aid to Iran

High Representative of the European Union,‌ Josep Borrell, announced that the EU will send €20 million in humanitarian aid to Iran to help alleviate the coronavirus outbreak, and will support Tehran's request for IMF financial help.

Borrell stated: “We've not been able to provide a lot of humanitarian help but there is some €20 million in the pipeline ... that we expect to be delivered over the next weeks."

“We also agree in supporting the request by Iran and also by Venezuela to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to have financial support,” he continued.