Iran Officers Say Tehran Prison Blaze Has Been Extinguished

CAIRO (AP) — A towering blaze at a infamous jail housing political prisoners and anti-government activists in Iran’s capital injured not less than 9 folks however was extinguished after a number of hours and no detainees escaped, state media mentioned Sunday.

Flames and smoke rising from Tehran’s Evin Prison had been extensively seen Saturday night, as nationwide anti-government protests triggered by the demise of a younger girl in police custody entered a fifth week. In on-line movies, gunshots and explosions might be heard within the space of the jail.

State media mentioned the hearth broke out after a struggle between prisoners, in an obvious try to distance the occasions there from the continuing protests. Hundreds are being held at Evin, the place human rights teams have reported repeated abuses of prisoners.

State TV on Sunday aired video of the hearth’s aftermath, exhibiting scorched partitions and ceilings in a room it mentioned was the higher ground of a stitching workshop on the jail.

“This fireplace was attributable to a struggle between some prisoners in a stitching workshop,” mentioned Tehran Gov. Mohsen Mansouri. “The workshop was set as much as create jobs” for prisoners, he mentioned.

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Iran’s state-run IRNA information company reported Saturday that there have been clashes between prisoners in a single ward and jail personnel, citing a senior safety official. The official mentioned prisoners set fireplace to a warehouse stuffed with jail uniforms, which triggered the blaze. He mentioned the “rioters” have been separated from the opposite prisoners to de-escalate the battle.

The official mentioned the “state of affairs is totally below management” and that firefighters have been extinguishing the flames. Later, Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi mentioned that calm had returned to the jail and that the unrest was not associated to the protests which have swept the nation for 4 weeks.

IRNA later reported 9 folks had been injured, with out elaborating. It revealed video exhibiting burnt particles scattered round a constructing, with firefighters spraying down the blaze’s embers.

The U.S.-based Center for Human Rights in Iran reported that an “armed battle” broke out inside the jail partitions. It mentioned photographs have been first heard in Ward 7 of the jail. This account couldn’t instantly be corroborated.

Footage of the hearth circulated on-line. Videos confirmed photographs ringing out as plumes of smoke rose into the sky amid the sound of an alarm. A protest broke out on the road quickly after, with many chanting “Death to the Dictator!” — a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and burning tires, the movies confirmed.

Witnesses mentioned that police blocked roads and highways to Evin and that not less than three sturdy explosions have been heard coming from the world. Traffic was heavy alongside main freeways close to the jail, which is within the north of the capital, and many individuals honked to point out their solidarity with protests.

Riot police have been seen using on motorbikes towards the ability, as have been ambulances and firetrucks. Witnesses reported that the web was blocked within the space.

The jail fireplace occurred as protesters intensified anti-government demonstrations alongside major streets and at universities in some cities throughout Iran on Saturday. Human rights displays reported tons of lifeless, together with youngsters, because the motion concluded its fourth week.

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.

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

Evin Prison, which holds detainees dealing with security-related fees and contains twin residents, has been charged by rights teams with abusing inmates. The facility has lengthy been recognized 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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