At least 8 killed in fire at Iran’s notorious Evin prison amid anti-government protests

Sunday marks one month since his death maha amini They are in police custody, which has sparked protests across the country, mainly led by women, strikes and violent repression by Iranian security forces.

Amini, 22, from Iran’s Kurdistan region, died in custody after she was detained last month in Tehran and accused of failing to cover her hair completely and defying the country’s strict dress code. Three days later she died.

The police said Amini passed away after she fell ill and fell into a comaBut her family said witnesses told them she had been beaten by officers, and she complained about the way her death was being investigated.

a Coroner’s report Released this month by Iran’s Medical Legal Organization, which describes itself as independent but is part of the country’s judiciary, Amini said he died of multiple organ failure, caused by an underlying disease.

The demonstrations since her death have constituted one of the most serious challenges to the Iranian government since the 1979 revolution, as some chanted slogans against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameneiand the president Ibrahim Raisi.

State media have reported at least 60 people killed since the protests began. Human rights organizations believe the number is likely to be much higher.

The government has blamed what it calls “external enemies” for fomenting the unrest.

A State Department spokesman said late Saturday that the United States was “closely monitoring the alarming situation in Iran’s Evin prison and the danger it poses to many of its detainees.”

Our priority is the safety of US citizens unjustly detained in Iran. “Their safety and rights must be guaranteed,” the spokesman said in a statement.

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In 2018, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Evin prison for what it described as “gross violations of human rights.” The Treasury’s website says inmates held at Evin Prison are subjected to “brutal methods of prison authorities, including sexual assaults, physical assaults, and electric shocks.”

A lawyer representing an Iranian-American detained in Evin, Namazee SiamakNamazi, who has been imprisoned for nearly seven years on espionage charges that the White House dismisses as baseless, said Sunday that Namazi called his relatives.

β€œI am happy to inform you that #SiamakNamazi has now spoken to his family. He is safe and has been moved to a secure area in Evin Prison. We have no further details at this time,” Jared Jenser said on Twitter.

Several Iranian citizens and foreign nationals with dual nationalities are being held in Evin Prison. The facility has long been notorious for holding political prisoners, as well as those with links to the West.

During the campaign trip to Portland, Oregon, President Joe Biden He addressed the unrest in Iran, saying he was surprised by the “courage of the people and women who took to the streets” in the recent protests and that he had great respect for them. β€œIt was really cool,” he said.

Dan de los And the Abigail Williams Contributed.

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