Helping Free Unintentional Financial Offenders

Helping Free Unintentional Financial OffendersHelping Free Unintentional Financial Offenders

More than 2,230 billion rials ($55 million) is required to release 15,000 people languishing in  jails for “unintentional offences,” said Asghar Jahangir, head of Iran Prisons Organization (IPO) on Tuesday, on the sidelines of a charity festival to collect contributions to release inmates for such offences.

The festival ‘Golrizan’ is underway at Talar-e-Abgineh located in Niavaran St. in Tehran during the holy month of Ramadan (May 27-June 25).  

“Like in the previous years, IPO has contributed $12,500 (500 million rials) to help release some of the inmates during Ramadan,” he said, IRNA reported.

From among the 15,000 inmates, 13,000 committed financial offences inadvertently. Unintentional offences constitute 7% of all infringements in the country.

Given that the prisoners are serving terms for not-so-serious offenses, they are not really criminals or swindlers. Keeping them behind bars can have adverse psychological impact; also their families face severe financial and psychological problems.

Earlier this year, under the so-called “Arghavan Campaign,” more than $62,500 was collected to help women serving prison terms for unintentional money-related offences.

According to Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi, who supported the campaign, “staying in prison can cause huge problems for women like financial instability, poverty and more debt.”

Jahangir further said there are plans to relocate Evin Prison to a place outside the municipal limits.

“IPO has no plan to transfer Evin Prison to the Tehran Municipality (TM), but we are studying proposals from other authorities to transfer the jail to their jurisdiction.”

The prison covering 43 hectares is presently located in a posh district in northern Tehran . Earlier, the IPO had sent a draft MoU to the TM with details on transferring the prison to the municipality. But the deal was dropped and no agreement was reached between the two sides.

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