Four inmates were killed and 61 were injured. While protests in Iran continued after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a large fire broke out in Tehran’s Evin prison, according to Sky News. Evin prison is home to both political inmates and anti-government dissidents and criminals.
According to the Iranian news agency IRNA, the blaze was started by a fight amongst inmates. The prison’s garment warehouse caught fire because of disturbances and fights that broke out in the wards. Flames and massive columns of smoke rose from Tehran’s Evin Prison as the fifth week of widespread anti-government demonstrations spurred by the execution of the young Iranian woman in moral police custody reached its fifth week. Online videos also captured gunfire and explosives occurring close to the prison.
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Iran Says Evin Unrest Not Linked To Countrywide Protests
IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, cited a senior security official as saying that inmates in one unit had fought with prison officers. According to the official, the inmates were responsible for starting the fire by torching a warehouse containing of prison uniforms.
He claimed the “rioters” had been separated from the other inmates in an effort to calm the situation. According to Mohsen Mansouri, governor of Tehran: “This fire was triggered by a brawl between some prisoners in a sewing workshop.”
“The Associated Press reported. “As he explained, “the workshop was put up to create jobs for convicts.” On the other hand, the state-run media reported that the fighting at Evin Prison on Saturday had nothing to do with the unrest outside the prison.
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Anti-hijab Protests Enter Fifth Week
This happened at a time when Iran is seeing its worst turmoil in decades. Mahsa Amini, who was imprisoned by the nation’s morality police for reportedly not wearing her hijab properly, died in September, sparking the demonstrations. Since then, the Iranian government has violently repressed protestors who have come together to voice their dissatisfaction with the country’s autocratic leadership.
Reports indicate that hundreds of protesters who were arrested have been transferred to Evin. Many human rights groups have voiced concerns about the treatment of prisoners at Evin Prison. Inmates incarcerated for offences relating to national security are housed there alongside dual citizens.