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Fire And Rebellion At Iran’s Evin Prison: What You Need To Know – OpEd

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A summary of reliable information gathered from inside Iran about the rebellion in Evin Prison is as follows.

On Saturday, when inmates in Evin Prison expressed their support for the nationwide uprising, they were attacked by prison guards, and clashes erupted.

According to reports, a fire broke out in prison at around 9:00 PM local time. At the same time, heavy explosions and gunfire were heard from inside the prison perimeter. Visual reports show that the regime has used grenade launchers and machine guns to suppress the rebellion. The confrontation took at least two hours to settle.

Footage released by the state media shows a fire was initiated in a sewing workshop of the prison. Official sources announced that eight people were injured during the riot. In further updates, the regime said that four people were killed due to smoke inhalation.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire was extinguished around 11:05 PM local time. Footage on social media and field reports suggest that heavy traffic has formed around Evin Prison as people attempted to approach the prison, and security forces were dispatched with motorbikes to control and disperse the crowd.

Public support

As soon as the news about the clashes and fire from inside the prison break, a large number of people from across Tehran rushed towards Evin Prison by car, and heavy traffic was built at 10:30 PM local time on the Imam Memorial Highway.

People going to Evin Prison clashed with security forces in the Saadat Abad District. Locals reported that shots and tear gas had been fired. The people in Naziabad District used the security vacuum and started to protest and sympathize with the prisoners.

State mobilizing

The forces that were brought in to crack down on prisoners included the Special Police Forces (NOPO), the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and Basij forces, as well as conventional law enforcement. Helicopters, drones, and quadcopters were also used to control the traffic and an eventual protest outside the prison’s perimeter.

The IRGC blocked the road by deploying a car weaponed with a machinegun at the intersection of Qaitariya and Shariati streets. Simultaneously, all personnel of the regime’s judiciary were put on alert.

According to witness accounts, firefighters and ambulances continuously went to Evin prison. After the incident, the regime sent buses from the police headquarters and an ambulance to transport the victims to the Adl Hospital (near Evin Prison).

Security forces tried to close one side of the Imam Memorial Highway (next to Evin Prison) towards Tehran to reduce the spontaneous rally around the prison.

Propaganda

State TV aired a stage report on Saturday night that showed everything had turned silent inside Evin Prison, and the inmates were asleep.

At around 11:00 PM, state media broadcasted a staged report that claimed the fire was due to a dispute between the prisoners. Fars News Agency, affiliated with the IRGC, claimed the blasts were caused by landmine explosions in the north of Evin Prison, suggesting that some prisoners wanted to flee and were trapped in the minefield. After a few hours, the latter was denied by both Mehr and Fars news agencies, indicating Tehran’s usual playbook to spread contradictory news as a method of psychological warfare and create confusion.

On Sunday, state media reported that four people were killed and 61 injured.

Conclusion:

Although parts of the information about the rebellion at Evin Prison are still unclear, the following conclusions can be drawn:

  1. A rebellion inside the most controlled center of torture, execution, and suffocation in Iran, which was completely tied with the nationwide protests, is another indication of the progress and expansion of the popular uprising. Iranians all over the country are overcoming fear and terror.
  2. Security forces resorted to a significant mobilization to quell the protest inside the prison, showing the importance and danger of this uprising for the regime.
  3. The solidarity of the people of Tehran and the rapid reaction by rushing toward the prison and fighting with the repressive forces around the prison shows a growing unity among the people that has been building up during the uprising.
  4. Using all means of propaganda, the regime has tried to downplay the incident. State officials’ claims that a fight erupted among inmates with financial charges shows the matter’s sensitivity.

This article was published by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)

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