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Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Thursday, December 8, 2022
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    Iran says four inmates killed in fire at Tehran prison

    AFP – Four prisoners died in a fire that raged overnight in the Iranian capital’s notorious Evin prison, said the judiciary in the country which has been rocked by a month-long protest movement sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.

    “Four prisoners died due to smoke inhalation caused by the fire and 61 were injured,” the judiciary authority’s website Mizan Online reported, adding that four of the injured were in “serious condition”.

    Rights groups had voiced grave fears for the inmates after gunshots and explosions were heard during the blaze from inside the complex, illuminated by flames and smothered by smoke in video footage posted on social media channels.

    The fire – blamed on “riots and clashes” and later brought under control according to authorities – came as Iran has been rocked by protests over the death of 22-year-old Amini after her arrest.

    The demonstrations have turned into a major anti-government movement in the country, confronting its clerical leadership with one of its biggest challenges since the ousting of the shah in 1979.

    A fire truck in front of the Evin prison. PHOTO: AFP

    Evin, infamous for the ill-treatment of political prisoners, also holds foreign detainees and thousands facing criminal charges.

    Hundreds of those arrested during the recent demonstrations have reportedly been sent there.

    “The life of every political and ordinary crime prisoner (in Evin) is at grave risk”, the Oslo-based non-government group Iran Human Rights (IHR) warned overnight.

    It said authorities had closed off roads leading to the prison in an apparent bid to stop protests taking place outside the jail.

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