Iran Prison Fire Death Toll Rises to 8 as Protests Continue

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s judiciary raised the demise toll Monday in a blaze at Tehran’s infamous Evin jail, saying that at the least eight prisoners have been killed as protests proceed nationwide.

Particulars nonetheless stay scarce over the hearth at Evin jail, which broke out on Saturday evening as nationwide anti-government protests triggered by the demise of a younger girl in police custody entered a fifth week.

The judiciary’s Mizan information company provided the brand new toll, saying the prisoners had succumbed to their accidents Sunday from the incident.

It mentioned all these lifeless had been held on theft costs. Mizan described the incident as a “combat between inmates and a hearth,” although it provided no proof to assist the declare. Activists exterior of Iran say they continue to be skeptical of the Iranian authorities’s claims, significantly as their current descriptions of the nationwide protests have drastically differed with these on the bottom.

The semi-official Fars information company additionally reported that the demise toll from the blaze has doubled, and mentioned six inmates stay hospitalized following the hearth.

Flames and thick smoke rising from Tehran’s Evin Jail had been extensively seen Saturday evening. In on-line movies, gunshots and explosions may very well be heard within the space of the jail.

The blaze was extinguished after a number of hours and no detainees escaped, state media mentioned.

Authorities have tried to distance the occasions on the jail from the continued protests, whereas state media has provided conflicting accounts of the violence. Lots of are being held at Evin, the place human rights teams have reported repeated abuses of prisoners.

The protests erupted after public outrage over the demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. She was arrested by Iran’s morality police in Tehran for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict gown code. Iran’s authorities insists Amini was not mistreated in police custody, however her household says her physique confirmed bruises and different indicators of beating after she was detained.

President Joe Biden, on a weekend journey to Oregon, mentioned the Iranian “authorities is so oppressive” and that he had an “monumental quantity of respect for individuals marching within the streets.”

Evin Jail, which holds detainees dealing with security-related costs and contains twin residents, has been charged by rights teams with abusing inmates. The ability has lengthy been identified for holding political prisoners in addition to these with ties to the West who’ve been utilized by Iran as bargaining chips in worldwide negotiations.

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