Algeria mobilizes prisoners to make coronavirus protection gear

Algeria mobilizes prisoners to make coronavirus protection gear
As governments in the Middle East isolate their populations to prevent the spread of coronavirus, attention is turning the region’s jails where detainees face a more punishing form of lockdown. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 17 April 2020

Algeria mobilizes prisoners to make coronavirus protection gear

Algeria mobilizes prisoners to make coronavirus protection gear
  • Prisoners will also make clothing and protective suits for medical personnel, he added, with disinfection chambers also being manufactured at three facilities
  • Authorities say no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 illness have been detected among 58,000 inmates at the country’s 150 prison facilities

ALGIERS: Inmates at 30 Algerian prisons are being mobilized to make personal protective equipment to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, official news agency APS reported.
Authorities will “open sewing workshops for the production of 200,000 masks by prisoners in 30 penitentiaries... to meet their own needs and those of the courts,” prisons chief Faycal Bourbala told APS on Thursday.
Prisoners will also make clothing and protective suits for medical personnel, he added, with disinfection chambers also being manufactured at three facilities.
Prisoners will take part on a voluntary basis at the sewing workshops, which already exist and mainly attract female detainees who want to become dressmakers.
Authorities say no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 illness have been detected among 58,000 inmates at the country’s 150 prison facilities.
Since the start of the outbreak, the justice ministry has suspended family visits and ordered new prisoners into 14-day quarantines in isolated rooms.
Inmates are not allowed to leave the prisons except in case of emergency, and all direct contact with their lawyers has been banned.
According to officially declared figures, Algeria has seen Africa’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak so far.
It has seen 348 deaths and 2,268 cases since the end of February, from a population of 44 million.


Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details

Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details
Updated 20 min 29 sec ago

Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details

Iran asks watchdog not to publish ‘unnecessary’ nuke details
  • Iran’s nuclear department asked IAEA to avoid publishing details on its nuclear program that may cause confusion
  • On Saturday, Germany, France and Britain pressed Iran to back off its plan to develop uranium metal

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran urged the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to avoid publishing “unnecessary” details on Tehran’s nuclear program, state TV reported Sunday, a day after Germany, France and Britain said Tehran has “no credible civilian use” for its development of uranium metal.
The report quoted a statement from Iran’s nuclear department that asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to avoid publishing details on Iran’s nuclear program that may cause confusion.
“It is expected the international atomic energy agency avoid providing unnecessary details and prevent paving ground for misunderstanding” in the international community, the statement said. It did not elaborate.
On Saturday, Germany, France and Britain pressed Iran to back off its plan to develop uranium metal, calling it “the latest planned violation” of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something Iran insists it does not want to do.
“Iran has no credible civilian use for uranium metal,” they said in a joint statement. “The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications.”
On Thursday, the IAEA said Iran had informed it that it had begun installing equipment for the production of uranium metal. It said Tehran maintains its plans to conduct research and development on uranium metal production are part of its “declared aim to design an improved type of fuel.”
Iran reacted to the European statement Sunday saying Iran informed the UN nuclear watchdog nearly two decades ago of its plans for the “peaceful and conventional” production of uranium metal. It also said it provided updated information to the agency two years ago about its plans to produce silicide advanced fuel.
The statement said uranium metal is an “intermediate product” in the manufacture of uranium silicide, a fuel used in nuclear reactors that is safer and has more power capability than uranium oxide-based fuel, which Iran currently produces.
The three European nations alongside the US, Russia and China signed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that prohibited research and production of uranium metal.
President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. After the US then ramped up sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development.
President-elect Joe Biden, who was vice president when the deal was signed during the Obama administration, has said he hopes to return the US to the deal.