Iran has temporarily freed 85,000 prisoners in a bid to stem coronavirus infections.

There were 14991 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Islamic Republic as of March 16 with at least 988 deaths.

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“Some 50% of those released are security-related prisoners … Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak,” said Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.

The judiciary spokesman did not elaborate on when those released would have to return to prison.

Iran is the third-worst hit country after China and Italy.

 

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