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Prisoner dies of COVID-19 at Erbil Adult Reform prison: human rights commissioner

Kurdistan Parliament discussed issue at last session
Erbil Adult Reform prison (File)
2020-09-19

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SULAIMANI — Head of the Independent Human Rights Commission in the Kurdistan Region Zia Pitros said late on Friday (September 18) that a prisoner has died of COVID-19 at the Erbil Adult Reform prison.

Pitros said in a statement that the prisoner died of the disease, which is caused by coronavirus infection, at approximately 02:15 a.m. earlier in the day.

“The overcrowding problem at the correctional jail should be resolved,” he said. “The prisoner is an ethnic Arab, who had been sentenced on terror-related statutes.”

He also said that there are 2,100 prisoners held at the prison, although the facility is designed to hold just 900 inmates.

“The problems at the correctional prison should be resolved. Otherwise, disaster will happen because there are many coronavirus infections,” he added.

Just days ago, the Kurdistan Parliament discussed the issue, hearing a report from the Committee on Social Affairs and Protection of Human Rights and a response from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister for Labor and Social Affairs Kwestan Mohamad.

The coronavirus outbreak in the Kurdistan Region has sickened nearly 40,000 people, according to the official tabulation kept by the KRG health ministry, and killed almost 1,500.

Iraq, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East have released or furloughed prisoners to prevent coronavirus from spreading among its prison populations.

Iraq, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East have released or furloughed prisoners to prevent coronavirus from spreading among its prison populations.

On July 21, Pitros said that an inmate died while on hunger strike at the prison. Another inmate died after suffering a stroke on July 24.

(NRT Digital Media)