By Jubin Katiraie
More Iranian prisoners killed by security forces in Ahvaz during prison riots over the coronavirus have been named by human rights sources.
Here are the names of some victims:
Sajjad Abiat, who was shot on March 30 in Sepidar Prison and died in hospital on April 15
Seyyed Reza Khorsani (Moghinami), 38
Adel Naseri, 35, who had been acquitted of a murder charge and was awaiting the outcome of the appeal
Majid Qeitasi, 25
Ali Zargani, 21, who was killed on March 30, but his family were not told for 10 days
Mohammad Tamoli, 25, had been serving a seven-year prison term
Iran’s security forces responded to the prisoner’s riots over not being allowed to protect themselves during this coronavirus crisis by firing live ammunition and tear gas at the protesters.
In a desperate attempt to cover up the true death figures, the government has refused to give an accurate death toll, put inaccurate causes of death on death certificates, cut off inmates’ contact with the outside world, and threatened the relatives of those killed against disclosing the true cause of death for their loved ones.
Amnesty International has said that it believes that 36 inmates were killed by the security forces as the authorities tried to suppress the uprisings in at least eight prisons and cited local sources as saying that live ammunition was used against the protesters. They also reported at least one case where a prisoner was beaten to death.
There are also reports that several inmates were wounded by security forces and then denied medical care.
Rupert Colville, the United Nations human rights spokesperson, voiced concern over the injuries and deaths in a virtual briefing from Geneva on April 4.
He said: “As you see in Iran and some other countries, we are seeing riots, prisoners who are afraid, who are distressed at the big loss of contact from family members and so on. So, there are many, many issues surrounding this… We are horrified at the death of a juvenile offender after he was reportedly badly beaten by security officers. Prisoners were protesting at prison conditions and the failure of the authorities to temporarily release them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”