Exclusive: A Prisoner’s account of daily deaths of prisoners from COVID19

A prisoner in the Central Prison of the Great Tehran (Fashashuyeh) told Iran International that many of the prisoners have contracted the COVID19 and due to the lack of medical treatment and facilities, there are daily deaths reported.

In an exclusive interview with Iran International on Thursday, the prisoner said that most of his prison-mates have contracted COVID19 and other respiratory diseases and the prison officials have lost control of the situation.

According to the prisoner, “the cough symphony of prisoners” can be heard constantly and despite the seriousness of the issue, “the prison officials are hiding it”.

The prisoner, who was also coughing, said some of the prisoners “see their own deaths” in the near future and call their families and tell them about the possibility of their deaths.

A video released on Thursday from Qezel Hesar prison shows that dozens of prisoners have been sent to the yard with their belongings so that the officials can film the wards and claim that the prisons are not crowded.

Other reports have been released about dozens of prisoners in Tehran’s Evin, Urmia, and Zanjan prisons contracting the disease.

The head of Iran’s Prisons Organization reported that 70000 prisoners have been sent on temporary leave by Monday. Jahangir had said in 2017: “The capacity of our prisons is 88000 prisoners. We currently have 223000 prisoners, which is 2.5 times the capacity.” In the past two years since his comments, the number of prisoners has increased exponentially and in November 2020 alone at least 10000 prisoners were incarcerated.

Even with the release of 70000 prisoners, not considering the added prisoners in the past two years, over 160000 prisoners are still in prison which is twice the capacity of Iranian prisons.

Political prisoners were not included in the temporary release.



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