GUNSTONES were reported tonight as a huge fire broke out at Iran’s notorious Evin prison in the country’s capital.
Dramatic footage showed smoke rising from Tehran’s “Hell Hole” prison, which houses political prisoners, on Saturday.
It comes amid ongoing unrest in the country after Mahsa Amini was allegedly beaten to death by Iran’s morality police.
The 22-year-old’s arrest for not covering her hair with a headscarf and her subsequent death sparked the most violent protests in decades.
According to the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, an ominous alarm sounded in the city of Tehran on Saturday as an “armed conflict” erupted in the prison.
Staggered gunfire was reportedly heard after a fight broke out at one of Evin’s wards as inmates reportedly clashed with guards.
The state news agency IRNA said eight people were injured in the blaze but there were no fatalities.
An officer told the outlet that “rioters” were separated from other prisoners while the rest returned to their cells.
They reported that inmates “set fire to the warehouse with inmate clothing,” igniting the mammoth inferno.
The Daily Mail reported that inmates were seen atop one of the prison’s buildings chanting “Death to the Dictator” – a rallying cry used during recent protests.
The situation is now said to be “under thorough control” as firefighters put out the blaze.
Riot police were reportedly seen entering while security forces were stationed at the scene.
Eyewitnesses reported that the roads leading to the prison were blocked and at least three explosions were heard in the area.
Following the incident, Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard tweeted that authorities had a “legal obligation to respect and protect detainees”.
Evin Prison is notorious for its brutality towards prisoners, with inmates routinely subjected to appalling treatment.
It was there that Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe was held for six years on ridiculous espionage charges – a time she says will forever “haunt” her.
Former inmates have previously exposed the appalling conditions at the prison – including rapists, hanging in the yard, prisoners being driven insane out of isolation and being beaten so hard they vomit blood.
Hundreds of protesters who took to the streets after Mahsa’s death have been arrested at the ruthless institute in recent weeks.
Relatives desperately waiting outside for news about their loved ones were reportedly shot at with tear gas by armed officers last month.
But it did little to quell the fighting spirit within the prison walls as political prisoners pledged their support for the ongoing demonstrations.
Human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, who is currently being held in Evin, encouraged Iranians to “stand against this brutality”.
JUSTICE FOR MAHSA
Nasrin Adib, another political prisoner in Evin, told IranWire that “all Iranian mothers were bleeding hearts” at Mahsa’s death.
The nation was outraged after her death, although authorities insisted she died due to underlying medical conditions.
Protests have continued in at least a dozen cities across the city this weekend as anger continues to mount among Iranians.
Courageous women have torn off their headscarves on the street and cut their hair in solidarity with the movement.
Mahsa had traveled from the western province of Kurdistan to visit relatives in the capital, Tehran.
According to Iranian police, she did not comply with the strict dress code, which by law requires women in Iran to wear a hijab, and was arrested by the “morality police”.
She died in hospital hours after her arrest after reportedly being beaten to death.
According to leaked scans, Mahsa reportedly suffered a fractured skull and internal bleeding.
The White House has called Mahsa’s death a “appalling and egregious assault on human rights.”
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, hijab has been compulsory for women in Iran, and the “morality police” are in charge of enforcing the rules.
The force has been criticized in recent years for its treatment of people – particularly young women.
Dozens of women took off their headscarves in protest in 2017.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6452622/gunshots-huge-fire-erupts-irans-evin-prison/ Gunshots are heard as a huge fire erupts at Iran’s notorious Evin prison after clashes between inmates and guards