Iran airs video from Evin jail on state TV after fire

Iranian state television has aired a video apparently showing calm has returned to Tehran’s Evin prison after a fire broke out amid unrest sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody.

Iranian authorities say the workshop had been set on fire “after a fight among a number of prisoners convicted of financial crimes and theft”.

Evin holds many detainees facing security charges, including Iranians with dual nationality.

Asked about the prison fire, US President Joe Biden told reporters during a campaign trip on Saturday that the Iranian government was “so oppressive” and that he was surprised by the courage of the Iranian protesters.

Iran’s foreign ministry said Mr Biden had interfered in state matters by showing support for the anti-government protests.

The authorities have responded with a brutal crackdown.

Rights groups said at least 240 protesters had been killed in the anti-government protests, including 32 minors.

More than 8000 people had been arrested in 111 cities and towns, Iranian activist news agency HRANA said on Saturday.

State media said on Saturday at least 26 members of the security forces had been killed by “rioters”.

“On Saturday … Biden interfered in Iran’s state matters by supporting the riots … In recent days, the US administration has tried desperately to inflame unrest in Iran under various excuses,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, ISNA reported.

The footage of Evin aired on state television showed firefighters inspecting a workshop with fire damage to the roof. It also showed inmates in their wards apparently “sleeping as calm has been restored”.

State news agency IRNA said on Saturday eight people were injured in the fire at the Evin prison.

But the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday that “no exact official figure of those injured or possible casualties have been published yet”.

Video obtained by Reuters showed protesters marching among traffic towards Tehran’s Evin prison on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

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