Iran Must Release Academic and Political Prisoners Who Contracted Covid-19 on Medical Grounds

Iran, one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, has temporarily released around 85,000 prisoners due to the fear of the novel coronavirus. However, political and academic prisoners remain incarcerated. Political prisoners and academics such as Niloufar Bayani, have also been excluded from the furloughing, even when they contract the COVID-19. On August 5, 2021, Endangered Scholars Worldwide learned that Niloufar Bayani, 34, a researcher, conservationist, and scholar— who has been imprisoned in Tehran since February 2018 and has been serving a 10-year prison sentence since February 2020 on charges of espionage—was transferred to the Evin Prison quarantine ward after testing positive for Covid-19. Reports indicate that Iranian authorities do not provide proper medical care to detainees in the quarantine ward.

Niloufar Bayani | Photo Credit: CBC Radio Canada