As Iran temporarily released almost 100,000 prisoners in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, on March 30, prisoners reportedly broke cameras and caused damage during a riot. Iran is one of worst-hit country and the authorities released the prisoners as part of a measure to contain the virus, however, it saw a series of violent prison disturbances. According to a state-run news agency, the riot broke out at Adel Abad Prison, the main lockup in the city of Shiraz.
Currently, Iran has more than 41,000 coronavirus cases and the deadly virus has claimed more than 2,700 lives in the country. While speaking to a local media outlet, Governor Enayatollah Rahimi said that the prisoners broke cameras and caused other damage in two sections housing, violent criminals. He further added that, however, no was wounded and no one escaped.
According to reports, last week, around 70 inmates had escaped Saqqez Prison in western Kurdistan province. The prisoners reportedly also started beating the guards during the chaos. Currently, 50,000 prisoners are reportedly behind bars, including violent offenders and so-called ‘security cases’. The families of detainees have also accused Iran of holding the prisoners for political reasons or use them as bargaining chips in negotiations.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended his government’s action to combat the outbreak while also dealing with a crippled economy. Rouhani also said that ‘new way of life’ that has been adopted is for everyone’s benefit and that the ‘changes will likely have to stay in place for some time’. He further said that the country must prepare to live with coronavirus until a treatment or vaccine is discovered.
The coronavirus, which originated in China in December 2019, has now claimed over 34,000 lives worldwide as of March 29. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 199 countries and has infected at least 737,204 people. Out of the total infections, 156,263 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries including Spain, and the economy is struggling.