Iran accused of hiding COVID-19 deaths as police arrest 320 for ‘spreading rumors’ 

Iran accused of hiding COVID-19 deaths as police arrest 320 for ‘spreading rumors’ 
According to the latest figures released by the health ministry, the number of infections in the country has risen to 106,000, with a total of 6,589 deaths. (File/AFP)
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Updated 10 May 2020

Iran accused of hiding COVID-19 deaths as police arrest 320 for ‘spreading rumors’ 

Iran accused of hiding COVID-19 deaths as police arrest 320 for ‘spreading rumors’ 
  • The official number of cases and deaths published by Iran’s Health Ministry has been questioned
  • The real number of coronavirus cases in the country could be 10 times higher

DUBAI: Iranian police have arrested 320 people accused of spreading rumors on social media about the coronavirus, with many questioning the official numbers of infections and deaths.
The official number of cases and deaths published by Iran’s Health Ministry has been questioned by lawmakers, city councilors and the public, according to Iranian daily Raido Farda.
Many believe, according to the report, that Iranian authorities hid the outbreak of the virus in the country before admitting on Feb. 19 that it had spread in Qom, Iran’s religious capital, killing two people.
The health ministry only announces the total numbers of cases for the country and does not disclose information for individual provinces or cities. 
According to the latest figures released by the health ministry, the number of infections in the country has risen to 106,000, with a total of 6,589 deaths.
The real number of coronavirus cases in the country could be 10 times higher than the cases identified by the ministry and the death toll nearly twice the official figure, an advisory report by the Iranian parliament’s research center estimated last month.


Swedish-Iranian scientist may face imminent execution, say rights groups

Updated 8 min 13 sec ago

Swedish-Iranian scientist may face imminent execution, say rights groups

Swedish-Iranian scientist may face imminent execution, say rights groups
  • Djalali was arrested in Iran in 2016 and later convicted of espionage
  • Iran's Supreme Court in 2017 upheld the death sentence

DUBAI: Swedish-Iranian scientist Ahmadreza Djalali, sentenced to death in Iran on espionage charges, may face imminent execution, rights groups said on Tuesday.
"On 1 December, a judge said Ahmadreza was to be transferred to Rajai Shahr prison TODAY to proceed with his imminent execution," Amnesty International said on Twitter.
"His lawyer was informed that Ahmadreza would be transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison ... today (Tuesday, Dec. 1)," Iran Human Rights said in a statement, quoting his wife Vida Mehrannia.
There was no official Iranian reaction to the reports.
Sweden's foreign minister said last week she had spoken to her Iranian counterpart after reports Iran may soon carry out Djalali's death sentence.
Djalali, a medical doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute in the Swedish capital Stockholm, was arrested in Iran in 2016 and later convicted of espionage, having been accused of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists. Iran's Supreme Court in 2017 upheld the death sentence.
Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries. Tehran has regularly dismissed the accusation. (Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Alex Richardson)