NCRI, 20 April 2020
Maryam Rajavi urges the international community to stop executions and secure release of prisoners to prevent a humanitarian tragedy
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) announced on Monday, April 20, 2020, that the Coronavirus fatalities in 294 cities across Iran have exceeded 32,800. The number of victims in Tehran is 5,550, Khorasan Razavi 2,595, Mazandaran 2,170, Khuzestan 1,450, East Azerbaijan 1,240, West Azerbaijan 990, Lorestan 738, Central Province 510, Bushehr 250, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad 185.
According to reports from medical staff and eyewitnesses in hospitals as well as cemetery officials, the number of Coronavirus patients and fatalities in Urmia, Bukan, Sardasht, and Piranshahr have increased in recent days. Urmia cemetery staff, who work round-the-clock, seven days a week, are under a lot of pressure. In Tabriz, many patients have died in their homes. Based on the regime’s instructions, several physicians have issued burial certificates citing non-Coronavirus causes. There are several examples where they have not even informed the Health Ministry. In the last two days, at least 30 people were similarly buried in Tabriz. Razi and Imam Reza, Shohada, and Sina hospitals in Tabriz are full of Coronavirus patients. People are anxious that with the opening of inter-provincial traffic, the number of patients and deaths will increase significantly.
According to doctors in Shiraz, the number of Coronavirus victims in the city has recently increased, and dozens of people have died in Ali Asghar Hospital.
Meanwhile, fears from popular uprisings and calls on the government to make use of significant holdings controlled by Ali Khamenei and the IRGC are mounting. Today, Parvaneh Salahshouri, a regime parliament deputy, told the state-official news agency ILNA, “It should become clear whether or not institutions like the Mostazafan (Abased) Foundation, whose name stands for the needy and the poor, are willing to do something for those sectors… Hardly anything is left of from religious beliefs as we are not applying religious edicts and values today. Under the current circumstances, the ruling elites have to offer whatever they possess of to the people. Of course, public assets are not limited to state reserves; there are companies with huge revenues that are not supervised by any authority. Mr. Naghavian once said in an interview that those companies hold 60 % of the country’s budget. If this proves right, then we should have thought of it earlier.”
Today, the state-owned Mostaghel daily wrote, “Time and again, what has come to the people’s and officials’ minds are why we are not using the wealthy entities not under governmental control? If senior officials decide, these entities can easily, and with great speed, beat Coronavirus and prevent the crisis that might engulf the country and the regime if the current situation continues… Difficulties and crisis far more severe than those of November 2019 (Iran Protests) could emerge, which would prove to be much more difficult to contain than before.” The daily added, “The country’s policy-makers, be it in the government or the leadership if mindful of protecting the system and the Islamic republic’s standing should use the said-entities’ capacities to contain the recession, to their own and the people’s benefit!”
Today, state-run daily, Hamdeli wrote that the “Islamic Republic must prepare for tougher crisis and possibly violent and extensive protests and general discontent.”
Also, the state-run daily, Resalat wrote, “Coronavirus impacts the more deprived sectors of society … The bankruptcy of low-income families has already started, and gap and post Coronavirus inequality will aggravate, leading to new inequality and gaps… New people will join the already deprived people. Finally, development, security, and human and social resources will dramatically plummet.”
In such circumstances, the regime aims to execute prisoners to cope with the crisis. Seven prisoners are scheduled to be executed in Sanandaj prison, one of them a prisoner who escaped from Saqqez prison during the prisoners’ revolt on March 27, 2020. In recent days, eight prisoners contracted Coronavirus in Urmia prison.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: The mullahs’ regime has brought nothing but suppression and execution. To intimidate and terrorize the public and to contain the situation, it has resorted to executing prisoners instead of releasing them.
Mrs. Rajavi again urged the international community, especially the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, the relevant UN rapporteurs, and other human rights organizations to intervene immediately to stop the executions, secure the release of the prisoners, and prevent a major humanitarian catastrophe in prisons.