Iran should release all prisoners amid coronavirus — UN

Iranian pedestrians cross a street while wearing protective masks in Tehran on March 10, 2020 amid the spread of coronavirus in the country. Iran today reported 54 new deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the start of the country's outbreak. (AFP)
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Updated 10 March 2020

Iran should release all prisoners amid coronavirus — UN

  • "I have recommended to the state of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all prisoners on temporary release...,” Javaid Rehman said

GENEVA: The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said on Tuesday he had asked Tehran to free all prisoners temporarily, saying it is “unfortunate and disturbing” to continue holding political prisoners amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Iran’s judiciary chief said on Monday it had temporarily freed about 70,000 prisoners to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in jails as officials reported hundreds of new infections and dozens more deaths across the country.
But UN rapporteur Javaid Rehman said only those serving sentences of less than 5 years had been freed while political prisoners and others charged with heavier sentences linked to their participation in protest marches remained in jail.
“A number of dual and foreign nationals are at real risk if they have not...got it (coronavirus) they are really fearful of the conditions,” Rehman told a press briefing in Geneva.
“This is also my worrying concern and therefore I have recommended to the state of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all prisoners on temporary release...,” he said. It was not immediately clear whether he meant all prisoners in the country or all political prisoners who remained in jail.
Rehman also described the pace of the spread of the virus within Iran as “highly disturbing” and criticized containment measures carried out by the authorities.
“In my estimation the state has done too little and too late,” he said, in response to a question about Iran’s handling of the outbreak.


Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

Updated 01 December 2020

Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

  • The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire
  • Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed

ANKARA: Turkey and Russia have agreed to monitor a truce over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region from a joint peacekeeping center, Ankara’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.
The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire signed this month between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed, the defense ministry said in a statement, adding that it would begin work “as soon as possible.”
Turkey is a staunch ally of Azerbaijan and has fervently defended its right to take back the Nagorno-Karabakh lands Baku lost to ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1988-94 war.
The truce deal ended more than six weeks of fighting that claimed more than 1,400 lives and saw ethnic Armenians agree to withdraw from large parts of the contested region of Azerbaijan.
The Turkish parliament voted this month to deploy a mission to “establish a joint center with Russia and to carry out the center’s activities.”
The deployment is set to last a year and its size will be determined by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russia has said repeatedly that Turkey will have no troops on the ground under the truce deal’s terms.