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Iran unlikely to release women activists during pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak is adding to the plight of imprisoned women’s rights defenders in Iran.

In March, Iran became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. From the early days of the crisis, the country was criticized for both mismanagement and manipulation of data for political ends. Especially troubling has been the government’s persistence in keeping political inmates locked up despite the imminent threat of an outbreak in prisons.

There are many men and women behind bars today for political activism and for advocating for human rights in Iran. With the outbreak, the situation has become one of life and death. Iran had already released around 85,000 “low-level” detainees. But despite the dangers, most political prisoners remain in detention.

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