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Prisoners In Iran Riot, Some Escape Trying To Avoid Coronavirus

Iran -- Aligudarz Prison. FILE PHOTO

The governor of Aligudarz, a town in Iran’s Lorestan province says a riot in the local prison on Friday amid a coronavirus epidemic was put down by security forces.

While the governor, Hamid Kashkuli claimed no prisoner escaped and the reason for the disturbance remains unknown, the coronavirus epidemic has put prisoners in grave danger and could have triggered the riot.

The incident took place one day after 23 inmates escaped from another prison in Iran. During that incident one prisoner was shot to death by guards.

Iran’s government in recent days has freed tens of thousands of prisoners on temporary basis to prevent a tragedy among inmates who are cramped into small spaces in bad sanitary and medical conditions.

The Aligudarz prison, which is inside the town, is an old and dilapidated facility. Last year, the head of prisons in the province had said the facility is so bad it is hard to use it as a correctional center.

Three years ago, authorities decided to build a new prison in Aligudarz but they said it would take five years to complete the project. It is not clear if construction of a new prison has started.