Press "Enter" to skip to content

Iran says 4 prisoners killed in Tehran prison blaze

A towering blaze at a prison in Iran’s capital killed four inmates, the country’s judiciary said Sunday. 

Flames and smoke rising from Tehran’s Evin Prison had been widely visible Saturday evening, as nationwide anti-government protests triggered by the death of a young woman in police custody entered a fifth week. 

In online videos, gunshots and explosions could be heard in the area of the prison.

The blaze was extinguished after several hours and no detainees escaped, state media said.

Judiciary website on Sunday said four inmates died of smoke inhalation and 61 others were injured. It said all four who died were in prison on robbery convictions.

“This fire was caused by a fight between some prisoners in a sewing workshop,” said Tehran Governor Mohsen Mansouri. “The workshop was set up to create jobs” for prisoners, he added.

IRNA cited a senior security official as saying prisoners set fire to a warehouse full of prison uniforms, which caused the blaze. He said the “rioters” were separated from the other prisoners to de-escalate the conflict.

Later, Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi said that calm had returned to the prison and that the unrest was not related to the protests which have swept the country for four weeks.

The facility has long been known for holding political prisoners. 

US calls for safety of American prisoners at Iran’s Evin prison

The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran reported that an “armed conflict” broke out within the prison walls. It said shots were first heard in Ward 7 of the prison. This account could not immediately be corroborated.

Witnesses said that police blocked roads and highways to Evin and that at least three strong explosions were heard coming from the area, where internet was also reportedly blocked.

The semi-official Fars news agency said on Sunday that some prisoners who tried to escape entered a minefield, linking it to the sound of explosions.

READ MORE: At least 108 dead in Iran Mahsa Amini protests: rights group

More from Middle EastMore posts in Middle East »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *