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Iran scales up ankle tag production to curb prison overcrowding

Iran has scaled up manufacturing of electronic ankle tags as it seeks to reduce overcrowding in its prisons, says the country’s prisons chief.

Gholamali Mohammadi said late on Monday that a domestic company commissioned to supply ankle tags to Iran’s prisons authority had reached mass production for the device.

“We have had a start-up company to produce electronic ankle tags and we have already reached mass production,” Mohammadi said in an interview with the state TV.

Iran started to use ankle tags for prisoners in the early stages of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 when the country allowed thousands of inmates out of prisons to prevent a rise in the number of infections.

However, judiciary officials indicated later that they will continue to use the technology for prisoners with lighter sentences as a way of tackling overcrowding in the Iranian prisons.

The scale-up of ankle tag manufacturing in Iran comes two years after the country started to import them reportedly from Switzerland.

It has also come despite US sanctions hampering Iran’s access to foreign technologies and equipment.

Mohammadi said the use of electronic ankle tags for Iranian prisoners had doubled in the three months to late June.

He insisted that judges and courts in Iran could consider tagging as an alternative to a variety of prison verdicts now that the country has become self-sufficient in manufacturing the device.   

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