Iranian President Hassan Rouhani finally acknowledged on Saturday the extent of the coronavirus crisis in Iranian prisons, after months of downplaying the threat of the virus to Iran.
He said: “In one of the prisons, one infected person entered the prison, and before they could find out, 100 people out of 120 tested positive for the Coronavirus.”
Rouhani and other officials have tried to downplay the crisis since the first cases of the coronavirus in Iran in an attempt to encourage more people out to take part in the anniversary parade and the election, which would make the regime look popular to outsiders.
It was also to cover-up the regime’s disastrous response to the coronavirus, which has now killed 40,700 in Iran, by refusing to institute a proper lockdown and prosecuting those who report the truth about the crisis.
Their worst approach though was saved for the prisons. Instead of releasing non-violent prisoners, as they claimed they would during the Persian New Year, the regime actually denied political prisoners temporary leave and continued sending people to prison for speaking out against the regime. They recently arrested two elite students, who had won medals for their country in international scientific Olympiads.
The mullahs’ shameful handling of the coronavirus outbreak in prisons led to dozens of prison riots. The prisoners wanted only hygienic facilities and temporary leave, but the regime cracked down on the protests with a hail of bullets. Some escaped, but those who were recaptured were quickly executed.
The regime denied the existence of the coronavirus at first, but Iranian National Emergency Organization documents, revealed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), prove that regime officials knew about the spread of coronavirus in January, almost a month before they told the public.
Even after acknowledging it, the regime issued a late and lax quarantine that did not provide financial aid to those who would be struggling to feed themselves at this time.
Given that pushing a huge sector of the country into starvation would have led to another nationwide protest, the regime ordered people back to work to save the economy with their lives.