A large plume of dark smoke was seen floating near Evin prison in northern Tehran on Saturday night.
An Iranian security official said “thugs” set fire to the prison’s clothing store, causing a fire in the prison, according to Iranian state media IRNA. Tehran’s Evin Prison is a notoriously brutal facility where the regime jails political dissidents.
“Now the situation is completely under control and peace is being maintained in the prison and the firefighters are putting out the fire,” the security official told IRNA.
Activist group 1500tasvir reported that gunshots were heard in videos posted on social media and Iranian special forces were seen heading towards the area where the prison is believed to be.
The Iranian official said the “rioters” were separated from the other prisoners and that the other detainees returned to their cells, IRNA reported.
CNN cannot independently verify the situation.
Agnes Callamard, general secretary of Amnesty International he replied on Twitter to social media videos with a reminder to the Iranian authorities of their “legal obligation to respect and protect” the lives of prisoners after the fire.
Callamard noted that the prison is “notorious” and retweeted a post by journalist Jason Rezaian whose podcast “544 Days” chronicles the time he spent incarcerated in the prison.
“Evin is not a normal prison. Many of Iran’s best and brightest have spent long periods confined there, where brave women and men are denied their fundamental rights to tell the truth to power, “Rezaian he wrote. “The regime is responsible for what happens to those inside right now.”
Meanwhile, cities across Iran remain gripped by nationwide protest movements led by girls and women following the death of a young woman in police custody.
In September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being detained by the country’s moral police for not wearing the hijab correctly. Since then, the Iranian authorities have unleashed a brutal crackdown on protesters, who have united around a series of grievances with the country’s authoritarian regime.
Witnesses earlier said Iranian security forces beat, shot and arrested students at Tehran’s Sharif University. Almost two dozen children were killed during the protests last month, according to a report by Amnesty International.
At least 23 children, some as young as 11, were killed by security forces in the last 10 days of September alone, the report said.
Earlier this week, an Iranian official also admitted that school students participating in street protests were detained and taken to psychiatric institutions.