Dozens of dead and wounded… and conflicting accounts
The fire that broke out in Evin prison in Tehran on Saturday evening and continued until yesterday morning (Sunday), caused dozens of casualties, including dead and wounded, which exacerbated the crises that Iran has been facing for more than a month, on the impact of widespread popular protests over the death of the young woman, Mahsa. Amini when she is detained by the “moral police”.
While the “Mizan Online” website, affiliated with the Iranian judicial authorities, stated that the fire left 4 dead among the prisoners and 61 injured, other sources provided different accounts, and talked about numbers much higher than what was announced. Mizan Online said, “4 prisoners died due to smoke inhalation resulting from the fire, and 61 were injured,” adding that 4 of the injured were in a “serious condition”, while human rights organizations expressed fears for the prisoners’ lives, after hearing gunshots and explosions. During the fire that broke out inside the compound, clouds of smoke and flames were seen coming out of it, according to videos posted on social media.
Washington has warned that Tehran bears responsibility for the safety of American citizens held in Evin Prison. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “Iran bears full responsibility for the safety of our unjustly detained citizens, who must be released immediately,” adding that Washington is urgently following up on reports of the incident.
The French Foreign Ministry also announced that Paris is following “with the greatest interest” the fate of the French “forcibly detained” in the “Evin” prison, which houses political and foreign prisoners, including the French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah.
The fire, which was blamed on “riots and clashes”, broke out and was later brought under control, according to the authorities, at a time when Iran is witnessing widespread protests that have entered their fifth week.