Sheyban prison, the place where most of the Ahwazi activists are held in imprisonment by the Iranian occupation regime is in revolt since late Monday the 30th of March 2020. This response came after the outbreak of COVID-19 within the prison a few weeks ago and the prison’s management failed to provide any medical support or to implement any social distancing policies. The Iranian regime advised families of prisoners they can release prisoners on hefty bails, well over their financial capabilities, in which most families could not provide. We have previously reported on the dire situation from within the prison and how nothing is done to raise hygienic standards to prevent the virus from spreading. The prison is not built to have that number of prisoners but due to Iran’s dictatorship and silencing policies, every objection is confronted with violence, torture, prison or death. This has led to prisons across the so called Iran’s geographical map be over filled with human rights activists, animal rights and environmental activists and so on.
In an attempt to escape the extremely unsafe situation in Sheyban prison in the occupied Ahwaz, prisoners started revolting and many of the prisoners have broke free from the prison while many are still trapped inside fighting armed guards, lethal weapons and fires.
At a time when the criminal Iranian regime is concealing the facts regarding the true numbers of cases of corona virus, their inability to take the necessary measures to stop the virus from spreading, the continued outbreak of the Corona virus in Iran’s geography and the escalation of the preparation of the injured and the dead, Iran still finds a way to eliminate peaceful and wrongly held activists by leaving them to silently die off in Iran’s over crowded cells and COVID-19 to blame.
The prisoners are mostly educated people ranging from engineers to scholars, writers and poets. They are well aware of their rights and how wrongfully they are held captive for sounding their voices. In order to rid themselves of the physical and psychological torturous and unhealthy conditions, they united to force-open a door to a guards room and equipped themselves with weapons and led their way out of the prison. Whilst many of the prisoners have succeeded in escaping, many more are still trapped or too ill to fight or escape. The prison was still burning in flames and live gun shots are heard from far away. The situation went under control after several hours of clashes led to death of number of prisoners. Families of deceased prisoners has been gathered opposite to the Sheyban prison demanding the fate of their beloved ones on Tuesday the 31st of March 2020.
The Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights, again, urges the human rights society and the international community to putting pressure on Iran regarding the endless human rights violations list and to investigate why Ahwazi activists are held captive and on what basis; also in cohesion with the World Health Organisation(WHO)’s guidelines of social distancing and personal hygiene, to ask the Iranian authorities to provide proper care to all of the people living within its borders, regardless of race and ethnicity and to implement policies and to support and provide welfare to the vulnerable for them to make it through this phase safely.
Report by: Athar Jacob
Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights