Iran’s Judiciary extends prison leave for some 100,000 inmates as coronavirus fight continues

Press TV – Iran’s Judiciary has once again extended prison leave for some 100,000 inmates as the country is pressing ahead with its measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Iran’s Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters on Sunday that the second wave of the temporary release of prisoners has started base on an order issued directly by Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi.

According to the order, furloughs have been extended until April 19 for those prisoners who had been granted a leave until April 3, Esmaili said.

He added that such extension does not include those prisoners who have carried out an illegal or criminal act during their furloughs.

The spokesman noted that good behavior is the main criterion for prisoners’ temporary release either at a time they are spending in jails or are on a furlough.

Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour on Sunday reported another 123 deaths, raising Iran’s overall coronavirus death toll to 2,640.

The spokesman said 2,901 new cases of infection were confirmed in the 24 hours to Sunday noon.

Jahanpour said the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 38,309, out of whom 12,391 have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

The Judiciary chief said on March 9 that Iran temporarily released around 70,000 prisoners in order to prevent a further spread of the new coronavirus.

Prisoners will continue to be furloughed as long as [this measure] does not interfere with the society’s security,” Raeisi said, adding, “The priority lies with those who have underlying health conditions.”

The authorities told Iranians to stay at home, while schools, universities, cultural, religious and sports centers have been closed since the outbreak of the virus in February.

Iran is fighting the novel coronavirus while it is under US sanctions, which have made the purchase and import of vital medicine almost impossible.

Tehran says its anti-virus efforts have been stymied by vast shortages caused by the US restrictions on Iranians’ access to medicine and equipment

Iran says the US is upgrading its “economic terrorism” to a new level of “medical terror” against Iranians.