Tehran, Oct 16 (EFE).- At least four people have died and 61 others were injured after a fire broke out amid clashes at Tehran’s Evin prison, local media reported on Sunday.
On Saturday night, gunshots and a series of explosions were heard at the facility. Authorities described the incident in the prison as an attempted mutiny.
“Four prisoners died due to smoke inhalation,” Mizan online website said.
Authorities said that a group of inmates set fire to a warehouse of clothes, which led to clashes between prisoners and prison officials.
The situation at the prison has been brought under control, according to Mizan.
Meanwhile, the semi-official Fars news agency, which has ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, said that the explosions took place after some prisoners who were trying to escape entered a minefield located in the northern part of the prison.
Evin prison, a 40-hectare compound, is known for being used to detain political prisoners, journalists and dual nationals, and has been condemned by human rights groups for its harsh conditions and alleged torture.
Among the inmates held at Evin are British-Iranian environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, Iranian-American businessman Emad Shargi, French-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah, Iranian film director Jafar Panahi and Iranian activist Arash Sadeghi.
Imprisoned journalist Niloofar Hamedi, Iranian American businessman Siamak Namazi and activist Hossein Shanbehzadeh were able to contact their families.
“Niloofar Hamedi called me a few minutes ago. She is fine,” her husband Mohammad Hossein Ajorloo wrote on Twitter.
Hamedi was arrested for being the first to report what happened to Mahsa Amini, who died last month in police custody after being detained for allegedly not wearing the hijab correctly.
Namazi, sentenced to 10 years in prison for alleged espionage, called his lawyer to tell him he was not hurt in the violence.
“I am pleased to report that #SiamakNamazi has now spoken to his family. He is safe and has been moved to a secure area of Evin Prison. We have no further details at this time. @FreeTheNamazis,” his lawyer Jared Genser said in a Twitter post.
The incident in the prison came amid the nationwide protests that have rocked Iran for the past month, over the September 16 death of Amini.
Since then, the women-led protests have taken place in several cities throughout the Islamic republic and have spread to universities and even high schools, with security forces cracking down on the unrest.
Many of those arrested in the demonstrations are jailed at Evin.EFE