Over 80 inmates escape prison in Iran’s Kurdistan after riots over coronavirus

Prisoners rioted in a prison in the city of Saqqez (pictured) Friday evening and more than 80 of them were able to escape. (Photo credit: Min.neel via Wikimedia Commons)

Over 80 prisoners escaped from a prison in Iran’s Kurdistan province on Friday following riots amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the prison, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Prisoners rioted in a prison in the city of Saqqez Friday evening and more than 80 of them were able to escape, Fars reported.

While Fars did not say what instigated the riots, they are believed to have been due to growing concerns among inmates about the spread of coronavirus in the prison.

Several other prisons in Iran have witnessed riots in the past few days due to fears of the spread of the virus in prisons.

Iran temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Hundreds of prisoners of conscience however remain jailed in Iran, rights group Amnesty International pointed out in a letter to head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday.

Iran must “immediately and unconditionally” release these prisoners amid fears over the spread of coronavirus in Iranian prisons, Amnesty said.

As of Saturday, 2,517 in Iran have died from the virus, and there are 35,408 confirmed cases.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06
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