11 April 2020 :
50 political prisoners infected with coronavirus in Urmia Central Prison. A number of prisoners including 50 political prisoners held at have been infected with the coronavirus. The 50 political prisoners were held at ward 15 of the prison. The names of 11 of these prisoners are as follows: Behnam Foruzandedel; Mohammad Hossein Irajnia; Akbar Kamel; Omid Afrasiabi; Ahmad Manuchehri; Karim Ashrafi; Hojjat Nouri; Hamid Moazzam; Navid Beigi; Saber Kaseb; Hamed Firouzeh. In addition, in wards 3 and 4 of Urmia Central Prison, 12 people have contracted the virus, the names of seven of whom are as follows: Rahim Shikh-khanlou; Shirzad Payon; Jafar Masoudinia; Farhad Rahimi; Arsalan Eivazi; Ramezan Shekh Kanli; Heidar Gheiratmand. Prison authorities took 15 of the ill inmates out of the prison. Two other prisoners, identified as Javad Amadi and Heidar, were taken to the emergency. Davoud Ghassemzadeh, a paraplegic patient is also suspected of having coronavirus. He is now in the prison’s clinic. The prison’s internal director, Mehrali Farhang has reportedly said that the denial to transfer to the hospital should not be reported anywhere and that the matter should be kept secret. Further reports indicate that two prison staff working at the juveniles’ ward have contracted the virus. Following recent riots by inmates in various prisons across Iran, authorities are worried about more protests. The prisoners in this facility have been told that the anti-riot police have orders to kill any prisoner who riots. The riot police are on standby in the prison. The authorities launched an attack against the inmates on March 31. Reports indicate the attack took place after a number of the inmates intended to launch a riot, yet authorities had previously learned of their intentions. The regime’s Judiciary Chief, Ebrahim Raisi, had claimed in March that the authorities had released 85,000 prisoners. But many peaceful political prisoners in Iran’s jails have remained in limbo despite the outbreak.