Death toll in Iran prison fire rises to at least 8

Death toll in Iran prison fire rises to at least 8

Dubai (United Arab Emirates ) — Iran’s judiciary reported Monday that at least eight prisoners died in a fire at Tehran’s notorious Evin jail. The incident occurred as protests continue across the country.

Details remained scarce over the fire at Evin prison, which broke out Saturday night as nationwide anti-government protests triggered by the death of a young woman in police custody entered a fifth week.

The Mizan news agency of the judiciary said that the prisoners had died from their injuries following the incident.

It stated that all the dead were being held on theft charges. Mizan described the incident in a “fight between prisoners and a fire,” but it did not provide any evidence to support this claim.

Activists from Iran remain skeptical about the Iranian government’s claims, especially since their recent descriptions of the nationwide protests are drastically different from those on the ground.

Image obtained from the Iranian news agency IRNA on October 16, 2022, shows damage caused by a fire outside Evin prison in Tehran.

AFP via Getty Images

The families of two Americans imprisoned in Evin, Siamak Namazi and Emad Shargi, were both safe as of Sunday morning, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.

Jared Genser, his attorney, claims

Namazi spoke to his family.

Shargi’s daughter and sister told Brennan on Sunday that they had spoken to him. Shargi has been imprisoned in Iran since 2018 and his sister, Neda Shargi, tweeted on Saturday, “We once again implore President Biden to do what he needs to get Emad out of danger and back home to the United States.”

Mr. Biden was on a weekend trip in Oregon and stated that the Iranian government is “so oppressive” and that there was an “enormous amount respect for those marching in the streets.” “

Iran Protests

Koosha Mahshid Falahi / AP

Flames and thick smoke rising from the Evin Prison had been widely visible Saturday night. Online videos show gunshots and explosions in the area surrounding the prison.

The blaze was put out after several hours, and no detainees fled, state media reported.

Authorities have attempted to distance the events at the prison from the ongoing protests, while state media have offered conflicting accounts of the violence. Evin is home to hundreds of prisoners, and human rights groups have repeatedly reported abuses of them.

The facility houses detainees who are facing security-related charges. It also includes dual citizens. It has been known for holding political prisoners and those with ties the West that have been used by Iran in international negotiations.

The protests erupted after public outrage over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. Iran’s morality police arrested her in Tehran for violating Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. Iran insists that Amini was not mistreated in police custody. However, her family claims that her body showed bruises after she was taken into custody.

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