Iran/virus: 88 new dead, more than 1,000 foreign prisoners temporarily released

Iran/virus: 88 nouveaux morts, plus de 1000 détenus étrangers provisoirement libérés

More than 1,000 foreign prisoners were released temporarily in Iran in the face of the spread of the new coronavirus, said Tuesday the iranian judiciary, after expert reviews of the human rights of the UN on the subject.

The spokesperson of the ministry of Health Kianouche Jahanpour has announced 88 new deaths from coronavirus in recent 24 hours, as well as 1297 new infections.

Iran, which is struggling to contain the spread of the virus, is one of the countries most affected in the world by the pandemic, with 5297 deaths and 84 802 infections officially reported since the announcement of the first cases in February.

“What Iran has done in ensuring the good health of prisoners and granting them permissions, the output is an approach that is significant “, compared to what other countries have done, said the spokesman of the judiciary, Gholamhossein Esmaïli.

Last week, a panel of experts on human rights had called on Iran to expand its list of inmates who have a permission to release ” prisoners of conscience and bi-national and foreign “.

In response, Mr. Esmaïli said that experts should report that ” the United States and Great Britain have done with their prisoners.”

“We have granted permission to more than 1000 foreign (…) some nationals of these countries,” he added at a press conference, without specifying the conditions of their release.

According to him, Iran should not be accused of ” discriminatory behaviour “.

Since march, the islamic Republic has granted permission output to 100 000 prisoners, who have seen their release on temporary be extended until 20 may.

Some of them are required to wear an electronic bracelet, as the Iranian-British Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, stopped in 2016, and sentenced to five years in prison for calls to the ” sedition “. Permission has also been extended until may 20, said Tuesday his counsel to the official agency Irna.

The judicial Authority had also announced that approximately 10 000 prisoners, should be given a grace decreed on the occasion of the iranian New Year (Nowruz), for “decrease the number of prisoners, taking account of the position sensitive in the country,” said Mr. Esmaïli, without explicit reference to the new coronavirus.

Other bi-national imprisoned in Iran, as the researcher franco-iranian Fariba Adelkhah and business man, an iranian-american Siamak Namazi and his father, Mohammad Bagher Namazi, are still being detained.

The islamic Republic does not recognize dual citizenship, and has accused foreign governments of interfering in what it considers the issues pertaining to its internal affairs.

Reopening of the shops

Health authorities and experts of the islamic Republic and abroad believe that the number of victims of the epidemic in Iran could be more important than officially stated.

Iran has proceeded to date for more than 365 700 screening tests for the disease, said Mr. Jahanpour.

Over 60 900 persons to be admitted to hospital to be cured, he added, referring to a “significant” number.

Iran has allowed the reopening of the shops, closed since mid-march, with the exception of those with the highest risk such as restaurants and sports facilities.

However, the authorities have urged the Iranians to avoid taking the public transport and have lifted some traffic restrictions in the capital.

According to the assistant to the transport of the municipal council of Tehran, Mohammad Alikhani, 19 taxi drivers are dead from the disease of the COVID-19, and 317 have been infected.

147 bus drivers and “between 40 and 50″ employees of the metro have also been contaminated, ” added Mr. Alikhani.

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