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.


Daesh claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad

Updated 22 January 2021

Daesh claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad

  • Militant group said the bombing ‘targeted apostate Shiites’

BAGHDAD: The Daesh has claimed responsibility for a rare and deadly twin suicide bombing that rocked central Baghdad killing over 30 and wounding dozens.
The group said the bombing “targeted apostate Shiites,” on a statement circulating in an Daesh-affiliated website late Thursday. The statement said the first bombing was carried out by Abu Youssef Al-Ansari and the second by Mohammed Arif Al-MuHajjir.

Iraqi Prime Minister said Yesterday's bombing is a security breach, and the country will not allow it to be repeated. He added that Baghdad is working on a comprehensive security plan to confront the challenges of extremism.
At least 32 people were killed and over 100 people wounded in the blasts on Thursday. Some were in severe condition. According to officials, the first suicide bomber cried out loudly that he was ill in the middle of the bustling market, prompting a crowd to gather around him — and that’s when he detonated his explosive belt. The second detonated shortly after.
The US-led coalition recently ceased combat activities and is gradually drawing down its troop presence in Iraq, sparking fears of an Daesh resurgence. The group has rarely been able to penetrate the capital since being dislodged by Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition in 2017.
The attack was the first in nearly three years to hit the capital. Elsewhere, in northern Iraq and the western desert, attacks continue and almost exclusively target Iraqi security forces.
An increase in attacks was seen last summer as militants took advantage of the government’s focus on tackling the coronavirus pandemic and exploited security gaps across disputed territory in northern Iraq.