Iran Releases 85K Prisoners From Jails To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus
Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said half of those released were “security-related prisoners”.
“Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak”, the spokesman said.
The United Nations has warned that inmates have already been infected in Iran’s overcrowded and disease-ridden jails, and called for all political prisoners to be released.
The judiciary spokesman did not elaborate on when those released would have to return to prison.
The regime has been widely criticised for its handling of the outbreak, including for its refusal to shut down holy pilgrimage sites.
Most cases across the Middle East have been linked to Iran, with many countries shutting down travel.
“Iran had already announced the release of 70,000 prisoners, but Rehman said only those serving sentences of less than five years had been freed.
Political prisoners and others charged with heavier sentences linked to their participation in protest marches remained in jail,” he said.
“A number of dual and foreign nationals are at real risk if they have not… got it [coronavirus], they are really fearful of the conditions,” Rehman said.
“This is also my worrying concern and therefore I have recommended to the state of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all prisoners on temporary release,” he said.