Foreign

Several Dead after Fire at Iran’s Notorious Detention Centre

Four prisoners have died and 61 have been injured following a major fire at Iran’s notorious Evin prison, according to an Iranian state news agency.

Sources inside the prison – which is known for housing political prisoners – have told BBC Persian the number of casualties is higher.

Videos shared online showed flames and smoke at the site in Tehran, and gunshots and explosions could be heard.

Iran has been gripped for weeks by anti-government protests.

They first erupted last month after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian Mahsa Amini in police custody. Officials said she died of a heart attack, but her family disputed this, saying she was beaten by the morality police.

BBC Persian’s Rana Rahimpour said it is not yet known whether the situation at the prison is linked to the recent demonstrations.

But this could easily be the case, Rana said, as hundreds of the protesters have been sent to Evin.

State media has suggested the two are not linked, quoting an official who blamed “criminal elements” for the fire.

Speaking from inside the prison, Tehran’s governor told state TV that there was a riot in a wing of the prison housing petty criminals and that the situation was now completely calm.

BBC/Simeon Ugbodovon

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