Uniting for Freedom, Democracy & Equality

Iran Coronavirus outbreak: The crisis pushes the regime over the edge

Iran Coronavirus outbreak: The crisis that perhaps pushes the regime over the edge?

The Coronavirus outbreak in Iran is the latest crisis in the country that the regime is contending with. Over the past few years it has dealt with crisis after crisis – from economic issues, international sanctions and domestic dissent and numerous uprisings, protests and anti-government demonstrations.

Over the past few weeks, inmates in prisons across Iran have been rioting. They have been extremely concerned about the Coronavirus outbreak that has affected many prisons across the country. Because of the dire conditions in prisons in Iran, the virus has spread to large numbers of inmates and a number of deaths have been recorded. Prisoners are among the most vulnerable in the country.

Late on Saturday 28th March, prisoners in the Central Prison of Mahabad instigated a riot. It was such a significant riot that many prisoners were actually able to flee. They had been protesting against the regime’s mismanagement of the current health crisis and they were calling it out for its unwillingness and incapacity to deal with the situation.

On the same day, inmates in Alvand Prison in Hamedan also protested against the regime’s mismanagement of the crisis. They had called on the regime to allow prisoners to be released under the context of the spread of COVID-19 but they were met with a downright refusal. Again, several inmates from the prison were able to escape.

The previous day, prisoners in Saqqez Prison in Kurdistan also protested against the regime’s refusal to release them.

The regime has ordered the suppressive agents in prisons across the country to use force against rebellious prisoners and this has resulted in shots being fired and dozens of prisoners being killed or wounded.

The death toll continues to rise in Iran, with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) reporting that more than 14,700 people had died (as of Tuesday March 31). The people have been left defenseless because of the regime’s inability and unwillingness to act.

Prison populations are extremely high in Iran, especially considering that more than 12,000 people were arrested during the uprising in November last year. Inmates, like the general population, are defenseless and have been left to fend for themselves.

Political prisoners in particular should be released from the prisons, but this is not happening. Political prisoners, like the regime’s opposition, present a major threat to the regime’s existence. Dissent is so high in the country, and has been for many years now, and the regime is very aware that it is going to fall soon. It knows that it only takes one incident to push the regime over the edge that it has been teetering on for such a long time.

President-elect of the National council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Mrs Maryam Rajavi has reiterated her calls for the Secretary-General, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Union to take immediate action to secure the release of prisoners in Iran, in particular political prisoners.