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Prison Official In Iran Denies Report Of Jail Riot

Orumieh or Urmia Central Prison in Iran. FILE PHOTO
Orumieh or Urmia Central Prison in Iran. FILE PHOTO

The Director-General of Iran’s West Azarbaijan Prisons on May 12 denied reports about an uprising against the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the city of Orumieh's central jail.

A day earlier, a Kurdish human rights website, Hengaw, had reported that the inmates of the secured ward in Orumieh (Urmia) Central Prison had revolted, protesting the outbreak of the coronavirus in prison and the lack of action by the authorities, setting the "secured ward" ward on fire.

Orumieh (Urmia) is the capital city of West Azarbaijan, 765 Km (475 miles) west of the Iranian capital city, Tehran.

The Director-General Hamzeh Boroujeni told the Islamic Republic 's official Judiciary news agency (Mizan) on Tuesday that the news of the unrest in Orumieh prison was a "pure lie" and he "strongly" and "explicitly" denied it.

Boroujeni also maintained that no cases of coronavirus have been so far detected in the central prison.

During the past month, several prisons across Iran have witnessed enraged protests to poor conditions in Iranian prisons amid the coronavirus outbreak and depriving inmates of furlough. Reportedly, the protests have led to unprecedented riots in some jails.

The most intense riot occurred on March 31, in Sepidar and Shiban prisons in Ahvaz, the capital city of the oil-rich Khuzestan province, southwest Iran. According to some human rights activists, the Islamic Republic's security forces killed an unknown number of the prisoners in the heat of the uprisings.

There were also prison riots in western Iran and dozens of prisoners escaped. Two of the prisoners who had managed to escape during the riots, were captured in the Iraqi autonomous Kurdish region, taken back to Iran, and immediately hanged.

Condemning the executions, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, expressed her concern on April 22 over the possible hanging of other inmates on the death row, who had participated in the recent protests in the Islamic Republic prisons.