Saturday , 6 March 2021

Jailed protester contracts COVID-19, fellow inmates also suspected

Iran-HRM – It has been reported that Amir Hossein Moradi, detained in Ward 2 of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, has contracted the Coronavirus. He has been transferred to an unknown location.

Amir Hossein Moradi

Mr. Moradi, arrested during Iran protests in November 2019, was sentenced to death last week.

Death row prisoner Amir Hossein Moradi had referred to a hospital over the past week and on Saturday, February 29, to receive treatment for his neural illness. On Sunday, after returning to the ward, he was told that he had tested positive for Coronavirus and must leave the ward and go to the prison’s dispensary.

A source close to the family of one of the prisoners said, “After sending Amir Hossein Moradi to the dispensary, 19 others who were in the same room with him in ward 5 of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, including Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, Milad Arsanjani, and Jamil Ghahremani, all of whom had been arrested during the protests in November, have been also removed from the room and transferred to the hospital of Yaftabad, an outskirt of Tehran, because of having close contact with Amir Hossein. Later, all their belongings were also removed from the room.”

Reports from the Greater Tehran Penitentiary indicate that the wards have not been disinfected and inmates do not have access to health and medical supplies.

Despite a directive by the head of the Iranian Judiciary to grant leave to prisoners with less than five-year sentences, many political prisoners have not been allowed to leave.

In the meantime, husband of Nazanin Zaghari, who is detained in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison, said she had probably contracted the Coronavirus.

A conscript soldier serving in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj (a.k.a. Rajaishahr) also reported of the outbreak of Coronavirus in this detention facility.

In Gohardasht Prison, inmates do not have face masks, gloves or disinfectants. Prisoners with fever and chills who refer to the prison’s dispensary are not sent to hospital. The medical staff only take their fever and return them to the ward.

Payam Shakiba, Mohammad Bannazadeh Amirkhizi, and Majid Assadi, who have been in this prison for three years have not been granted furlough.

Political prisoner Arash Sadeghi who suffers from a malign cancer, condrosarcoma (cancer of the bone marrow) is also detained in Gohardasht Prison. The place of surgery on his right arm is infected and he has GI problems. He is very weak and his body’s immunity is very low. He must be given priority for leaving prison.

Saeed Shirzad is also serving the final months of his sentences, but there have not been any measures to send him on leave.

In the Central Prison of Urmia, a number of inmates suspected of contracting the disease have been sent to hospital in recent days.

One of these prisoners died in hospital but prison authorities say he contracted the virus when he was in hospital and outside prison.

The detainees in Baz Prison of Khorramabad, Lorestan Province, held a protest on Saturday, February 29. They demand to be sent on furlough due to the outbreak of Coronavirus in this prison. The prison in Khorramabad lacks minimum medical facilities to diagnose the disease or prevent its spread.

Several inmates with symptoms like fever and dry coughs have been abandoned on their own. Despite promises by prison authorities to grant furlough to the prisoners, all inmates who had been sent on leave before the outbreak, have been returned to prison earlier than the deadline.

There is no quarantine in the prison of Khorramabad and healthy prisoners are held in the same place with the sick inmates.

As this fatal disease is rapidly spreading in Iranian prisons, prisoners do not have minimum access to health and medical resources to diagnose or prevent further spread of the disease.

Families of many political prisoners have expressed concern over the past days about their imprisoned relatives.