VUB guest lecturer Djalali’s Iranian prison catches fire, 8 dies

Iran: Guest lecturer at the Brussels VUB University Ahmadreza Djalali (49-year-old), who was reportedly detained, perished in a fire on Saturday night in the Evin jail in Tehran, the country’s capital, according to Iranian officials.

The Iranian government claims that the fire started on Saturday during a jail rebellion, although this claim could not be independently confirmed. Witnesses saw numerous explosions, and dozens of footage posted on social media captured the mayhem surrounding the facility.

Along with this, according to an earlier assessment, four people were reported dead and 61 injured, four of whom had critical injuries. Iran’s Justice Department posted on its website that “four injured died in hospitals, increasing the total to eight deaths.” “All eight of the deceased were serving time for theft-related offences in jail.”

Evin is regarded as a notorious jail where political and intellectual prisoners are held. The facility has a reputation for mistreating inmates.

There are also protesters being detained who took part in the recent anti-regime demonstrations in Iran after Mahsa Amini (22-year-old), who was arrested by the morality police for reportedly not wearing her hijab properly, passed away in the hospital.

For alleged espionage, the jail also houses a number of dual nationals, notably Iranian-Swedish VUB guest lecturer Djalali, who has been given the death penalty.

Meanwhile, the Tehran prosecutor said the current protests against the Iranian government have nothing to do with the “tumult” within the prison. Security reasons apparently led to the separation of the rioting area from the area of the prison where inmates are housed in cells.

Djalali’s coworker Gerlant Van Berlaer said that Djalali “is thought to be in Evin and is uninjured.”

“Vida Meh, his wife, attests to this. She obtained the knowledge through a different source.” At the same time, Djalali himself is prohibited from calling his family while inside. Information is leaking from other inmates who are permitted to do so.

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