A statement from the judiciary in Iran stated that the number of fatalities from a fire at the infamous Evin prison in that country has increased from four to eight.
Officials said dozens more were injured in the blaze at the jail in Tehran on Saturday night.
The Evin prison has received hundreds of protesters involved in the nation’s anti-government demonstrations over the past month. It is not clear whether the incident at the jail was connected to the unrest.
The judiciary added further that the fire began in a prison workshop after a fight among inmates. According to the chief of Tehran’s prisons, it was a premeditated escape attempt that security forces thwarted.
The institution has long been under fire from Western human rights organizations. In addition, Human Rights Watch has charged the prison’s administrators with utilizing torture threats and indefinite detention; as well as protracted interrogations and denying inmates medical care.
On Monday, the EU said it was imposing sanctions on 11 people and four organisations in Iran. This also includes Iran’s morality police.
Iranian security forces have used force including live fire, beatings and mass arrests to try to put down the protests. Human rights groups say at least 200 people have been killed, though the true figure is believed to be higher.