Coronavirus: Iran has temporarily freed 85,000 prisoners

Iran says it has also taken precautionary measures to confront outbreak within jails

A cleric, right, assists a medic treating a patient infected with the new coronavirus, at a hospital in Qom, about 125 kilometers south of the capital Tehran, Iran. File Photograph: Mohammad Ali Marizad/Rasa News Agency via AP

A cleric, right, assists a medic treating a patient infected with the new coronavirus, at a hospital in Qom, about 125 kilometers south of the capital Tehran, Iran. File Photograph: Mohammad Ali Marizad/Rasa News Agency via AP

 

Iran has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, a spokesman for its judiciary said on Tuesday, in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

“Some 50 per cent of those released are security-related prisoners ... Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak,” said Gholamhossein Esmaili.

On March 10th, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said he had asked Tehran to free all political prisoners temporarily from its overcrowded and disease-ridden jails to help stem the spread of coronavirus. –Reuters