Four detainees died in a massive fire in an infamous jail in the capital of Iran that housed political prisoners and dissidents, according to the country’s court on Sunday. The evening fire’s spectacular visuals have spread over Iranian social media. As nationwide anti-government protests sparked by the murder of a young lady in police custody began their sixth week, flames and dense smoke were seen rising from Tehran’s Evin Prison on Saturday evening. Gunshots and explosions were audible in the vicinity of the prison on online videos.
After several hours, the fire was put out, and no prisoners could elope, according to state media. While official media has provided various descriptions of the violence, authorities have attempted to separate the events at the prison from the continuing protests. At Evin, where hundreds are detained, human rights organisations have documented ongoing abuse of prisoners.
Inmates’ families gathered on Sunday near the prison in hopes of hearing from their loved ones within. Masoumeh, 49, who only revealed her first name, claimed that two weeks ago, her son, was brought to the prison for participating in the street protests. “I need to observe him closely since I can’t believe the reports about his health”, she remarked. The judiciary-affiliated website Mizan.news said on Sunday that four prisoners died from smoke inhalation and 61 others were hurt. State media had initially reported that nine people had been hurt. It stated that the four people who died were all serving time for robbery charges.
According to Mizan, ten prisoners were hospitalised, with four of them having serious conditions. It claimed that several convicts had attempted but failed to escape.
Despite the fact that the number of fatalities and arrests has increased, Iranian officials have downplayed the threat of anti-government rallies in the nation. According to rights organisations, more than 200 protestors have died since Iran was overrun by protests on September 17. Iranian authorities claim that the rioting has resulted in the deaths of around twenty dozens security personnel.