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October 17, 2022 12:44 pm

Iran Prison Fire Death Toll Reaches 8 as Protests Continue

avatar by i24 News

Evin prison. Photo: Ehsan Iran / Wikimedia Commons

i24 NewsAt least eight prisoners died in the fire at Tehran’s Evin prison which broke out over the weekend, Iran’s judiciary said Monday.

The number of casualties doubled since the last official report on Sunday. All of the victims were held in a section for robbery-related crimes, according to the judiciary.

Iranian authorities previously said the blaze started after a prison workshop was set on fire “after a fight among a number of prisoners convicted of financial crimes and theft.”

Evin prison is known as a detention center for political prisoners, as well as for those facing security charges, the number of which has risen significantly since the beginning of mass protests across Iran over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody last month.

The fire put more pressure on the Iranian government, which is struggling to suppress the protests by force and accusing US President Joe Biden of “inciting chaos” over his public support for the demonstrators. EU foreign ministers agreed to impose additional sanctions against Iranian officials and entities on Monday, condemning the brutal crackdown on protesters and the deadly prison fire.

“When you see these terrible pictures of the fire in the prison, when you see that peaceful people, women, men and, increasingly, young people and schoolchildren continue to be brutally beaten then we cannot and will not close our eyes to this,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said, adding that “if this violence continues, then more will follow.”

According to Baerbock, among those to be targeted in the sanctions was “the so-called morality police, a word that is not really appropriate when you see the crimes that are being committed there.”

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