Iran Human Rights (IHR); May 15, 2020: According to informed sources, several cases of Coronavirus infection (COVID-19) have been identified in Ward 7 of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. The authorities have claimed that the prisoners are infected with tuberculosis and have transferred them to unknown locations. One of the three halls in Ward 7 is dedicated to tuberculosis and HIV prisoners, whose exposure to COVID-19 can be fatal.
IHR has learned that in the past few days, several prisoners with COVID-19 symptoms at Ward 7 of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj have been transferred to an unknown location. Prison officials told inmates that the men had been taken to medical facilities for tuberculosis.
An informed source also told Iran Human Rights that the head of Ward 7 and a caseworker [their names are protected by IHR] had contracted COVID-19.
"All prisoners in Ward 7 of the prison have been tested for Coronavirus and seven cases were positive,” another IHR source said.
Ward 7 of Rajai Shahr Prison houses more than 200 prisoners in three separate halls. The top floor of the ward houses young Sunni prisoners. The second floor is a mental health unit and prisoners with diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis and tuberculosis are housed on the ground floor.
It must be emphasised that exposure to Novel Coronavirus can be fatal for people with tuberculosis and HIV whose immune systems are compromised.
Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, located in Alborz Province, has had the highest number of executions amongst Iranian prisons in years. It should also be noted that one of its wards houses political prisoners and at least two of its wards, Sunni prisoners.