Iran prison fire: Four inmates killed, 61 injured in fire at notoriously brutal Evin, state media reports | Techy Kings

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CNN

At least four prisoners were killed and 61 injured after a fire at the Evin prison in northern Tehran, Iranian state media IRNA reported, crediting Iranian authorities.

The prisoners died of smoke inhalation, IRNA added. The fire occurred on Saturday night and an Iranian security official said “thugs” set fire to the warehouse of prison clothes, IRNA reported earlier.

A large, dark plume of smoke was seen billowing near the prison in several videos on social media Saturday night.

The fire has been put out and “peace is being maintained,” Tehran’s governor, Mohsen Mansouri, told IRNA, adding that the fire was started by prisoners. Tehran’s Evin prison is a notoriously brutal facility where the regime imprisons political dissidents.

“Now the situation of the prison is completely under control and peace is maintained in the prison complex and the streets around the prison are monitored and under control,” Mansouri said.

Activist group 1500tasvir reported that in videos posted on social media, gunshots were heard and Iranian special forces were seen heading towards the area where the prison is believed to be located.

The Iranian official said the “insurgents” were separated from other prisoners and the other prisoners have returned to their cells, IRNA reported. CNN cannot independently verify the situation.

Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard responded on Twitter to the social media videos reminding Iranian authorities of their “legal obligation to respect and protect” the lives of detainees after the fire.

Callamard noted that the prison is “notorious” and retweeted a post by journalist Jason Rezaian whose podcast “544 Days” recounts the time he spent incarcerated in the prison.

“Evin is no ordinary prison. Many of Iran’s best and brightest have spent long stretches locked up there, where brave women and men are denied their basic rights to speak truth to power,” Rezaian said. wrote. “The regime is responsible for what is happening to them inside right now.”

Speaking to state broadcaster IRIB, Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi said the “conflict” at the prison was not linked to the protests that have swept the country following the death of a young woman in police custody.

In September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after she was detained by the country’s morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly. Iranian authorities have since unleashed a brutal crackdown on protesters, who have aligned on a range of grievances with the country’s authoritarian regime.

“Today’s conflict with prisoners has nothing to do with the recent riots, and basically the department related to security prisoners is separate and distant from the prisons for thieves and economic prisoners where the fire and conflict took place,” Salehi said.

According to Tehran’s prosecutor, Wards 7 and 8 were overcrowded, and the main issue was the fire – which he said was started by some prisoners. Both the prison and the surrounding streets are under control now, he said.

Witnesses previously said Iranian security forces beat, shot and detained students at Tehran’s Sharif University. Last month, nearly two dozen children were killed during the protests, according to a report by Amnesty International.

At least 23 children – some as young as 11 – were killed by security forces in the last 10 days of September alone, according to the report.

Earlier this week, an Iranian official also admitted that schoolchildren participating in street protests are being detained and taken to psychiatric institutions.



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