The silver linings keep on coming. The question is: How do we make this permanent?
By Adela Suliman, Andy Eckardt and Gabe Joselow
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, some countries are freeing prisoners to stem the spread of the virus in crowded jails or free up space for COVID-19 patients.
Iran have already released 80,000 prisoners, according to official reports. Among them were British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, who was jailed in 2016 on what the United Nations, activists and her family say are trumped-up allegations of trying to overthrow the Iranian regime, and U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, 48, who has been in prison since his 2018 after he was sentenced to 13 years for insulting the country’s top leader and displaying a private photo publicly.
The U.N.’s special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, said in a statement that “recent reports indicate that the COVID-19 virus has spread inside Iranian prisons,” adding that “overcrowding, poor nutrition and a lack of hygiene” were also causes for concern.