Tehran's notorious Evin Prison with fires burning inside the sprawling complex on October 15, 2022

Tehran's notorious Evin Prison with fires burning inside the sprawling complex on October 15, 2022

Officials Say Four Died In Iran's Unexplained Prison Blaze

Sunday, 10/16/2022

Iran's judiciary has confirmed the death of four inmates in the massive blaze Saturday at Tehran’s Evin Prison and said 61 inmates were injured in the incident.

Sources in Tehran told Iran International TV Sunday morning that four of the inmates had been seen in body covers after the incident. Hours later, Mizan, the official news agency of the Judiciary, said four prisoners died of “smoke inhalation” and four others were in critical condition. Mizan has said that the four who died were “serving time for theft”.

The names of the victims have not been disclosed.

Many inmates’ family members gathered in front of the prison Sunday morning to enquire about the safety of their loved ones. The prison houses many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience including some of those arrested in recent protests, as well as others serving time for financial and other crimes.

Rights activists are collecting information from families and compiling a list of all inmates and their health conditions. An informed source said some of the prisoners of the ward were beaten up and put in shackles outside the building during the fire.

Human rights advocate and lawyer Mostafa Nili, in a tweet Sunday said some of the inmates have been removed from Ward Eight, where both political and financial prisoners are held.

According to Nili and others, political prisoners in Ward Four were only affected by tear gas and none have been taken away.These sources have also said female inmates in the Women’s Ward were tear gassed when they went outside the building but are safe and have begun contacting their families.

Nili said he had no reliable information on the situation in Ward Seven, where scuffles between security forces and inmates and the fire occurred.

In an earlier tweet Nili said he went to the prison to enquire about the safety of his clients but there was no one was to respond. He later reported that he had talked to an assistant prosecutor who said everyone would be allowed to contact their families.

The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)-linked Fars news agency quoted an official Sunday as saying that some of the inmates had walked into a minefield on the hill in the northern side of the prison while fleeing and caused the explosions were heard by the locals. Another hardliner website with close ties to the IRGC, Mashregh News, claimed Sunday that seven inmates were killed at the minefield.

Speaking to Sharq newspaper Sunday morning, an informed source from Prisons Organization strongly refuted the claim. Fars also later quoted another ‘informed source” as saying that none of the inmates had entered the minefield.

Some of the prisoners have been allowed to call their families. In a phone call to his wife, filmmaker Jafar Panahi has said he and other inmates had gone out into the courtyard after the fire broke out but had to go back inside when security forces fired tear gas at them.

Authorities have made different and contradictory statements about the cause of the fire but claim that it was started by inmates after they had a scuffle among themselves in a clothing depo or in a sewing workshop. They also insist that that the incident was not related to ongoing protests or prisoners serving security-related time such as political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

Radio Farda, the Persian Service of the US government’s Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL), published a video Sunday which appears to show a fire being lit in an area inside the prison. In the video several bright objects are seen rising from a distance and descending on the prison after which explosions are heard. An eyewitness told Radio Farda that there were five explosions in total.

G4 Protest Special - Evening (12\')
IITV News (54) - DC
IITV News (54) - DC

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