Wednesday Feb 8, 2023
Wednesday Feb 8, 2023

Death toll climbs to eight in Iran's Evin prison fire


Nepalnews
ANI
2022 Oct 17, 15:28, Tehran
Evin prison fire in Tehran. (Photo Credit - ANI)

 The death toll has risen to eight in the Evin Prison blaze in Iran after four more inmates who were in critical condition breathed their last.

Al Jazeera reported quoting the authorities that the first four inmates died of inhaling fumes from the massive fire on Saturday night, however, a statement by the judiciary did not explain the actual cause of deaths of the other four, and stated they were "injured after fighting among prisoners and the fire".

The Iranian authorities said that the deceased were kept behind the bars for theft-related crimes.

The situation at the Evin prison returned to normal conditions in the early hours of Sunday and prisoners were allowed to make phone calls with their families.

The Evin Prison in Iran has been criticized by the West, time and again, and blacklisted by the United States government in 2018 for "serious human rights abuses." The prison is where many political and security prisoners, including dual nationals, are held, Al Jazeera reported.

The state media outlet, in the initial stage, claimed that clashes inside Evin Prison on Saturday have nothing to do with the recent unrest in the country.

It said the ward of prisoners incarcerated on security charges is separate from the ward of bandits and prisoners serving their jail terms on financial charges where the fire incident happened.

The fire at Evin erupted at a time of consecutive unrest across the country after protests erupted over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. The young woman from Iran's Kurdistan province had been arrested by Iran's morality police for improper hijab in Tehran and later died.

Iranian authorities have since unleashed a brutal crackdown on demonstrators, who have united around a range of grievances with the country's authoritarian regime.

Hundreds of those detained during the protests have reportedly been sent to Evin. The United States said Iran is fully responsible for the safety of wrongfully detained citizens in Evin Prison.

"We are following reports from Evin Prison with urgency. We are in contact with the Swiss as our protecting power. Iran is fully responsible for the safety of our wrongfully detained citizens, who should be released immediately," US State Department Ned Price said in a tweet.

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