Iran’s Judiciary refutes allegation of discriminatory treatment of foreign inmates

Tasnim – Iran’s Judiciary spokesperson dismissed allegations of discrimination against foreign prisoners made by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights, noting that more than 1,000 foreign inmates in Iran have been granted leave following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Gholam Hossein Esmaeili dismissed the accusation of discriminatory treatment of inmates in Iran when it comes to prison furloughs.

Describing Iran as an “exemplary and prominent model” among all governments in the world in the issues relating to the health of inmates, security of prisons and prison furloughs, the spokesman called on the “so-called UN special rapporteur” to make a report about the status of prisoners in the US, the UK and other European countries in which the problem of coronavirus epidemic has been much more serious than in Iran.

“We have not heard of any report about giving leave and help for the prisoners during the coronavirus outbreak in the countries that claim (to be advocates of human rights),” he said.

Iran’s Judiciary has acted justly without any discrimination against prisoners of various nationalities, Esmaeili emphasized, noting that more than 1,000 foreign inmates have been granted leave in a recent round of prison furloughs after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“We do not recognize dual-nationals, and our criterion for giving leave is the crime, the sentence imposed, the threats an individual may pose to the society, the serving time, and the amount of bail,” he said.

His comments came after a group of UN human rights experts on April 17 called on Iran to expand its temporary release of thousands of detainees to include dual and foreign nationals.

The experts have commended the temporary release of 100,000 prisoners under an order by Iran’s Judiciary Chief, but have alleged that some dual and foreign nationals remaining imprisoned in Iran are at “great risk from COVID-19 due to their age or underlying health conditions.”