In a clash between prison officials and inmates at a prison in Tehran on Saturday, guards opened fire on the inmates, killing one prisoner and injuring 100 others.
According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the clash broke out after inmates protested against the transfer of several death row prisoners to a separate section for execution.
Iranian officials said that one prisoner died when others threw stones during the prison riot, however, there is no independent body to confirm how he was killed. It is also not known how many of the prisoners in question were arrested as part of the government’s crackdown on recent nationwide protests in the country.
Saeed Eghbali, a jailed human rights activist, told Iran International that the prison authorities had transferred a large number of political prisoners to solitary cells in recent days. This was clearly being done for the purpose of psychological torture according to Eghbali, as prisoners on death row are transferred to solitary cells before hanging.
On 8 December the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the first execution in relation to the nationwide protests sparked by the September death of the Iranian Kurdish woman Jîna Mahsa Amini.
Iran has sentenced at least 11 more protesters to death. Human Rights Watch has described the executions as “a gross miscarriage of justice and a dangerous escalation”, warning that numbers of death sentences may increase for activists, including children.