Guards attack prisoners at risk of coronavirus infection in bid to suppress protest

Security forces have reportedly attacked inmates at risk of coronavirus infection at Tabriz Prison in southwestern Iran to stop their protest against prison conditions.

Inmates staged a protest on Thursday to protest not being given leaves and sending new prisoners to the wards without going through the quarantine period.

The protest was resumed on Thursday with some prisoners setting their blankets on fire. A number of prisoners managed to escape.

Iranian prison guards beat prisoners and used firearms during raids inside the wards 7 and 9, where 800 prisoners are held.

Reports indicate that the violent security crackdown led to the death of at least one inmate and injury of seven others. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that three or four people were killed.
In a video posted on social media sound of gunshots can be heard from the prison.

Clashes between prison guards and inmates are still ongoing in various wards of the prison, including ward 7.
Special Forces of Azerbaijan Province are deployed in front of the main gate of the prison and the surrounding areas have been strongly controlled. So far, 15 prisoners who had escaped were arrested.

Snipers are stationed on a bridge next to the prison, to target anyone who managed to escape.

A family member of a detainee at the prison said, “New inmates are taken to the prison’s wards without being quarantined for a few days. If one of them is infected with the virus, the other inmates will also be affected. Today, an ill prisoner with COVID-19 symptoms referred to prison clinic, but he was returned to the ward without receiving medical treatment. His fellow inmates are worried about him being infected with the virus and contagion to themselves.”

While the number of victims of the coronavirus infection is increasing exponentially every day, hundreds of thousands of inmates in various cities are at risk of a major disaster. Despite domestic and international calls for the release of the majority of the prisoners, especially political prisoners, however, the Iranian regime is refusing to do so.

In another development on March 19, 2020, prisoners at the Parsilon Prison in Khorramabad (western Iran), who were at risk of coronavirus infection, rebelled, disarmed the guards, and escaped. Prison guards and the repressive forces opened fire on about 250 fleeing inmates and killed several of them.

In yet another incident on March 20, 2020, prisoners in the Central Prison of Aligoudarz, in the western province of Lorestan, rebelled and disarmed some of prison guards, attempting to escape. Clashes ensued between guards and prisoners at risk of Coronavirus infection, extending outside the prison. Units of the Revolutionary Guards intervened and the clashes continued for several hours. A number of prisoners managed to escape, some were shot to death or wounded. Some of the prison guards and IRGC members were also wounded.

Source » iran-hrm

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