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Day 29 of protests; Fire and blood from Ardabil to Evin

October 16, 2022
Roghiyeh Rezaei
7 min read
Anti-government protests in Iran continue
The fourth week of anti-government protests of the Iranian people ended when Ward 7 of Evin Prison burned down on Saturday evening
Anti-government protests in Iran continue
A poster hold up a sign amidst chaos
Anti-government protests in Iran continue
The videos from the moment of the explosion show that two projectiles were thrown from outside the prison into the compound

The fourth week of anti-government protests of the Iranian people ended when Ward 7 of Evin Prison burned down on Saturday evening, October 15. The videos from the moment of the explosion show that two projectiles were thrown from outside the prison into the compound. Many social network users speculate these projectiles were "grenades," , October 15. The videos from the moment of the explosion show that two projectiles were thrown from outside the prison into the compound. Many social network users speculate these projectiles were "grenades." 

While the Iranian authorities are saying that there was a "riot" in Evin prison and that the fire on Saturday night was caused by "thugs" and "troublemakers." However, sources have said that after the detainees of recent protests started to chant slogans in Ward 7, other prisoners joined them. As a result, the prison guards, and the special unit forces, already stationed in the prison, attacked the prisoners.

Also, on Friday evening, citizens in dozens of Iranian cities took to the streets and chanted slogans against the government, calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

The videos released from Ardabil show that the security forces were trying to run over some protesters with a car. Protests in Ardabil resumed on Saturday after a high school girl in this city was killed after security agents attacked their gathering in the school.

How did Saturday, October 16, the 29th day of nationwide protests in Iran, go?


Fire and explosion in Evin prison

On the evening of Saturday, October 15, eyewitnesses reported a fire and black smoke rising from Evin prison. Also, videos of an explosion were published, in which there were shootings inside the Evin prison.

The reports received by Iranwire show that the siren of Evin prison could be heard in the vicinity of this prison since Saturday morning. Also, eyewitnesses said that they heard at least 150 shots fired.

At the same time, the videos released from the streets around the prison since the evening of Saturday, October 15, show that the protesting citizens had gathered to help the prisoners.

Hours after the explosion in Evin prison, reports about the presence of families of political prisoners and detainees of recent days in front of this prison were published. Internet users reported the deep concern of the families while the phones in prison were cut off.

With increasing concerns about the lives of prisoners in Evin prison, some users speculated that the explosion and fire in this prison were pre-planned. Reports of rumours created by anonymous accounts, which civil activists and journalists say are "insecure," have been published. They announced the arrival of a helicopter in Evin prison and the occurrence of a "riot" before the fire and explosion.

Also, Yasser Hashemi, the son of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in his live conversation at Club House, in response to a question about the condition of his siblings, Mehdi and Faezeh Hashemi, who are imprisoned in Evin prison, he said that Mehdi, who was imprisoned in Ward 7 and 8 of Evin Prison, used to come on leave every Wednesday and return to the prison on Friday. But this week, they sent him on leave two days earlier, and when he went to prison on Friday as usual, the prison authorities had told him not to come to the prison.

Yaser Hashemi, who was speaking on the "My Iran" channel and on the topic of "What's going on in Evin Prison," answered the question of why his sister was not released and said that she is not in Ward 7 or 8 of this prison, but Mehdi is in Ward 7.

Until the moment of writing this report, the IRNA news agency, citing the governor of Tehran, has reported that eight people were injured during the "fire" in Evin. Still, the prison authorities themselves have not commented so far.

Mohsen Mansouri said that the "fire" was started by the prisoners, but the fire brigade controlled and contained it. He did not provide an explanation about the reason for the explosion, the dispatch of special forces to Evin prison, the closure of the roads leading to this prison, and the continuous sound of gunfire heard from this prison.

Protests in dozens of Iranian cities

Reports from Iran indicate that rallies were held in dozens of Iranian cities, including Ardabil, Tehran, Yazd, Kermanshah, Mahabad, Karaj, Lali Ahvaz, Saqqez, Hamadan, Isfahan, Mashhad, Gohardasht Karaj, Sanandaj, Marivan and Urmia. In Tehran, in most neighborhoods of the city, citizens responded to the call of the "Youths of Tehran's Neighborhoods" group and came to the streets and chanted slogans against the government.

In the videos released from Naziabad, south of Tehran, on Saturday evening, protesters chant, "Death to child-killer government" and protest the killing of dozens of children and teenagers in the past weeks.

Also, in the videos released from Saadat Abad, northwest of Tehran on Saturday evening, continuous shooting sounds can be heard, and the citizens defended themselves against the repressive forces by throwing stones and fire in the streets around Evin prison.

Students living in the dormitories of Beheshti University, near Evin prison, also chanted the slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom" at the same time as the explosion occurred in this prison.

Also, since Saturday morning, videos have been published from different neighborhoods of Tehran, people chanting the slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom."

On Saturday, many videos were published from Ardabil, the center of Iran's protests. In one of these videos sent to Iranwire, the protesting citizens are confronting the security forces and making them run away. In another video obtained by Iranwire from Ardabil, citizens chant in Turkish: "Azerbaijan will not tolerate this humiliation."

Protests in Ardabil resumed on Saturday as the Teachers' Union announced the death of a high school girl during the attack by repression agents on the city's Shahed High School. Some users announced the name of this girl as Esra Panahi. At the same time, three organizations in Azerbaijan also asked people in all Azeri cities to come to the streets.

Meanwhile, at noon on Saturday, a video was circulated on social networks in which a man, who is said to be Esra Panahi's uncle, says in Turkish that his "nephew" had an underlying disease and died due to the disease.

Citing this contradiction and his body language, where he does not look at the camera and has his head down, users have said that this is probably another project of Iran's security apparatus to obtain forced confessions from the families of those killed in the protests.

In Yazd, protesting citizens shouted slogans against Ali Khamenei and demanded the overthrow of the ruling political system. Also, in the videos published by Kermanshah, Mahabad and Hamedan, the security forces are trying to suppress the protesters with all their tools.

Also, in Kerman, protesters chanted "Death to the dictator," and in Karaj, the security forces shot directly at the people. In one of the videos recorded from Gohardasht Karaj on Saturday afternoon, plainclothes officers drag a woman into a private car with indescribable violence and then point a gun at other protesting women.


Global support continues

Hours after the news of the explosion and fire in Evin Prison was published, Ned Price, the spokesperson for the US State Department, announced in a tweet that the US government was following up on the events in Evin Prison. "We are following the reports from Evin prison with urgency," Price wrote. "We are in contact with Switzerland, which protects our interests in Iran. Iran bears full responsibility for the security of our citizens who have been unjustly detained and must be released immediately."

Ali Daei, a player and Iranian football star, has also reacted to the attack by the security forces, which led to the death of Esra Panahi, a teenage girl from Ardabili, and the injury of a number of other girls from that high school. Daei, who was before banned from leaving the country because of his positions regarding the protests of the Iranian people, considered this attack and the death of the prisoners to be the product of silence regarding past events, including the attack on Sharif University.

On Saturday, October 15, Asghar Farhadi, a prominent Iranian filmmaker, presented the annual Werner Herzog Foundation award for the film Hero to Iranian freedom fighters who "lay their lives in the palm of their hands and move." Asghar Farhadi also said: "I believe that we will finally witness freedom."

Following the continued support of artists and athletes to the people of Iran and the arrest and pressure of the security agencies on them, reports have been published about the arrest of Navid Mohammadzadeh, an actor, and Aziz Veisi, a famous Kurdish singer.

Veisi, a well-known and famous artist from Javanroud in Kermanshah province, has been arrested after being summoned to the court of this city. This artist had previously published a clip about the victims of the recent protests in Kurdistan and other parts of Iran. This Kurdish clip which is in Kurdish, was dedicated to the victims of recent protests in Kurdistan and Iran. 



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