Iran’s central prison for the detention of political prisoners went up in flames on Saturday, with inmates fleeing the facility and guards reportedly fired on them.
The infamous Evin prison is located in the Iranian capital Tehran and has long been used to house opponents of the regime. Hundreds of those who protested the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini have been brought into the facility in recent weeks.
However, state media deny that the fire had any connection with the protests.
At least four prisoners were killed and more than 60 were injured in the incident, according to the BBC.
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Much of the prison is still intact on Sunday now that the flames are largely under control. State authorities say the fire was limited to a wing for “petty criminals”.
The fire comes after a full month of nationwide protests in Iran as citizens outraged by Amini’s death demand an end to the government of dictator Ali Khamenei.
Local reports say “death to the dictator” chants may be heard around the prison on Saturday night. Authorities closed road access to the facility and reportedly shut down internet access for the area, a common tactic for the regime.
Amini was killed at the hands of the Iranian moral police on September 16 after being arrested for wearing the hijab incorrectly. She was discharged to the hospital with severe injuries and is in a coma. Authorities said she simply fell while she was in custody.
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The control groups say so hundreds of people were killed in protests, including some law enforcement agencies of the regime. However, Iranian restrictions on internet access have made it difficult to verify the number of victims.