The death toll from the Evin Prison fire in Iran has increased to eight after four additional detainees in serious condition died.
According to Al Jazeera, the first four convicts died after breathing gases from the large fire on Saturday night; however, a statement by the judiciary did not clarify the real cause of deaths of the remaining four, just that they were “injured after fighting among prisoners and the fire.” According to Iranian authorities, the deceased were imprisoned for theft-related offences.
It stated that the ward of convicts detained on security charges is distinct from the ward of bandits and prisoners serving jail sentences on financial offences, which is where the fire occurred.
The fire in Evin broke out during a period of nationwide turmoil following protests over the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. The young woman from Iran’s Kurdistan province was imprisoned by morality police in Tehran for wearing an inappropriate headscarf and eventually died.
Since then, Iranian authorities have unleashed a savage assault on protestors, who have banded together to voice a variety of concerns against the country’s dictatorial administration.
Hundreds of those detained during the protests have reportedly been sent to Evin. The United States said Iran is fully responsible for the safety of wrongfully detained citizens in Evin Prison.
“We are following reports from Evin Prison with urgency. We are in contact with the Swiss as our protecting power. Iran is fully responsible for the safety of our wrongfully detained citizens, who should be released immediately,” US State Department Ned Price said in a tweet.