An Iranian scientist, who is in the US immigration jail has contracted coronavirus, according to his family and attorneys. Dr. Sirous Asgari had been complaining about the inhumane conditions inside the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) jail in Louisiana since March, pointing out his fragile health. On April 28, his lawyer learned that Asgari tested positive for coronavirus days after he was shifted to an isolated cell inside the jail.
According to reports, Asgari's family and his lawyer have been demanding for his release to a proper health care facility where he can receive treatment. Media reports suggest that Iran has called for a release of the scientists on humanitarian grounds, including some lawmakers from the United States and human rights groups. Asgari reportedly has a history of respiratory problems and is currently suffering from fever for the past few days, according to his lawyer.
Asgari was exonerated in a US sanctions trial last year and is confined to a small room at the Winn correctional center in Louisiana, a state that is one of the worst affected regions in the United States. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has refused to release him or allow him to return to Iran. As per reports, Ice informed Asgari's lawyer about his COVID-19 test on April 28, but the scientist alleges that he was not told about the result and he only got to know when he called his family and attorneys.
Asgari was charged with fraud and trade secret theft relating to his work with a university in Ohio in 2017 and after a long trial, he was acquitted in November 2019, following which he was taken into custody by the Ice. According to reports, Asgari has two daughters living in the United States. Asgari has alleged that he is not served fresh food inside the jail and is given just a bowl of water, which he uses to wash his head as he was unable to shower while in isolation.
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