Persian Translation: WHO Guidance on Protecting Prison Populations from COVID-19
April 8, 2020 – The Center for Human Rights in Iran today published its unofficial Persian translation of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) interim guidance on how to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, and made it available online for free use and dissemination in its unaltered form.
“Iranian officials should immediately mitigate the risk of prison outbreaks by releasing peaceful individuals who shouldn’t be behind bars in the first place including political prisoners and dual nationals,” said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi.
“Following the WHO’s guidelines to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in Iran’s prisons won’t only help keep vulnerable prisoners safe, it will also protect the broader Iranian population and citizens throughout the world from this fast-spreading pandemic,” added Ghaemi.
As noted in the guidance, “Efforts to control COVID-19 in the community are likely to fail if strong infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, adequate testing, treatment and care are not carried out in prisons and other places of detention as well.”
According to the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, “Prisoners should enjoy the same standards of healthcare that are available in the community and should have access to necessary healthcare services free of charge without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status.” The imperative of social distancing and proper hygiene is thus equally applicable to prison populations.
Yet as the WHO notes, people in prisons and other places of detention are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 due to their confined living conditions.
Click here for CHRI’s translation of the WHO’s March 2020 interim guidance: “Preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention.”
Read this article in Persian.