Iran temporarily frees 54,000 prisoners to combat spread

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Iran has temporarily released more than 54,000 prisoners in an effort to combat the spread of the new coronavirus disease in crowded jails. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters the inmates were allowed out of prison after testing negative for Covid-19 and posting bail. “Security prisoners” sentenced to more than five years will not be let out. The jailed British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe may be freed soon, according to a British MP. Tulip Siddiq cited the Iranian ambassador to the UK as saying that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe “may be released on furlough today or tomorrow”.

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