Fire, Shootings At Iran Prison Kills Four
By Worthy News’ Stefan J. Bos, with additional reporting by Johan Th. Bos in the Netherlands
TEHRAN (Worthy News) – A fire at one of Iran’s most notorious prisons where Christians and political activists are among inmates has killed at least four people and injured 61 others, Iranian authorities acknowledged Sunday.
Sources with close knowledge about the situation said the fire broke out late Saturday in Tehran’s Evin prison and that “the sound of non-stop shooting” could also be heard. “The [Islamic Iranian] regime slaughters prisoners,” said the Foundation of the Family Members in a message obtained by a Worthy News reporter.
The fire broke out as anti-government protests sparked by a woman’s death in police custody continued on Sunday, including at several universities.
Iranian authorities said an Evin prison workshop had been set on fire “after a fight among a number of prisoners convicted of financial crimes and theft.”
Evin also holds many detainees facing security charges, including Christians, political activists, and Iranians with dual nationality, Worthy News established.
The Netherlands-based Foundation of the Family Members, representing persecuted Iranians, said Saturday’s prison fire was a repeat of a similar deadly incident last week.
MORE INMATES KILLED
On October 7, “at least ten inmates were killed last week by shooting and fire” at Lakan Prison in the northern Iranian city of Rasht, it explained. Many more were injured in the October 7 incident, the well-informed Foundation added.
“We want the free press, human rights organizations, and the international community to stop the massacre of political prisoners in Evin prison,” the Foundation stressed. It added that the international community should “exert widespread global pressure on the religious dictatorship that rules Iran.”
The group also demanded “immediate intervention from the United Nations, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Union to prevent the massacre of Evin’s prisoners.”
It was not immediately clear how many Christian inmates and other conscious prisoners were among the victims in the overcrowded Evin prison.
Witnesses said gunfire and explosions could be heard while a crowd gathered outside the building and riot police entered the prison.
The prison crisis added to turmoil in Iran which has been gripped for weeks by the nation’s largest anti-government protests since 2019, with no signs of abating, despite numerous deaths.
YOUNG WOMAN DIES
Demonstrations began September 16 after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by Iran’s religious police for wearing a hijab headscarf in “an improper fashion.”
Campaigners and family members said she was beaten and tortured to death, a claim denied by law enforcement authorities.
Police claim the young woman died of “natural causes.” Her death and arrest came amid what activists view as a government clampdown on women’s rights.
It is reported that more than 150 people have been killed by security forces during protests since Amini’s death, prompting international outrage.
Over the weekend, the Netherlands became the latest Western nation to urge its citizens to leave Iran and advise against travel to the strict Islamic country.
Earlier on October 8, France urged its citizens to leave Iran, citing concerns they could be detained arbitrarily amid the ongoing crackdown on protesters.
In Brussels, the European Parliament backed a resolution condemning the death of Amini and demanded “EU sanctions against her killers and those involved in quashing the ensuing street protests.”