A number of prisoners have been wounded and killed by security forces following recent protests in Ahvaz prisons. HRNA has been able to identify some of these people. Also, during the rally of families outside Shiban prison yesterday in Ahvaz, several were injured by security forces’ shots. During the past few days, similar clashes have been reported in Sepidar Ahvaz, Adel Abad Shiraz, Saqqez, Alvand Hamedan, Mahabad, Tabriz, Parsilon Khorramabad and Aligudarz prisons. The crisis comes amid growing concern among inmates about the Coronavirus spread and the delay in assessing prisoners’ files for the promised furlough.
On Monday, March 30, a number of detainees in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz started a riot in protesting against not being sent for furlough despite the Coronavirus outbreak in the country. They were able to take control of watch posts for some time. It’s reported some prisoners have broken out of the prison.
At least 3 inmates reportedly lost their lives in security guards’ efforts to control the prison at Sepidar, “Mohammad Tamuli Tarafi, a 25-year-old son of Lefta, from Bostan County” is one of those killed in the unrest. He was serving his 7 years sentence.
The identity of others is being investigated by human rights organizations.
However, on March 30, Khuzestan province police chief Commander Heydar Abbaszadeh denied any damage to the protesters, saying: “There was no casualties and no prisoners were injured in the incident. Also, no prisoner escaped from prison. “
Following Monday’s protests in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz, the families of some prisoners held rallies on the Ahvaz-Shooshtar road. There are local sources reports of security forces firing tear gas and bullets at demonstrators. Three, including Adel Savari, who was there to find out about his father’s condition, were wounded by bullet wounds from security forces.
On Tuesday, March 31, several prisoners held in the Shiban prison in Ahvaz protested and clashed with prison guards. There are reports that thick smoke was emanating from the prison building and gunfire was heard. Also, several ambulances were seen leaving the prison.
The protests in Ahvaz prisons follow similar clashes in Adelabad Shiraz, Saqqez, Alvand Hamedan, Mahabad, Tabriz, Parsilon Khorramabad and Aligudarz prisons over the past few days.
On Saturday, March 28, a number of prisoners held in Alvand prison in Hamadan protested. According to some reports, the protest led to clashes with armed forces and the escape of a few inmates from the prison; some protesters burnt blankets and some heard gunshots around the prison.
Similar clashes also broke out in the Mahabad prison on Sunday night, March 29, with some reported shooting and killing of one of the prisoners. Ali Akbar Garoussi, the chief justice of the West Azerbaijan province’s judiciary, denied any damage to the prisoners in the clashes, and praised swift action by security forces.
Other riots in different prisons across the country have been reported in protest against mismanagement of the Coronavirus outbreak in prisons and not abiding by the law to let eligible prisoners go on furlough.
One of the political prisoners, Shirahmad Shirani, who is spending his 22 years sentence in exile in Ardebil prison, sent out an open letter warning if it goes on like this, many political prisoners will die in front of world’s eyes! He wrote, “This is against the law to keep us here.” He said, “If the officials do not let us leave, every political prisoner will be infected and then nothing could be done. This is a human disaster waiting to happen.”
As reported before, Islamic Republic is using its propaganda machine to make people think political prisoners are given leave when possible but it doesn’t match the facts.