The infamous Evin prison in Iran has experienced a fire, and video that has been shared online shows flames and smoke rising from the scene., according to the BBC.
There have been reports of gunshots and alarms coming from the facility, which houses most political inmates.
According to an official cited by state media, the fire was caused by “troubles” involving “criminal elements.”
The fire breaks out as Iran experiences its most violent unrest in decades.
On Saturday, protests were occurring once more in at least a dozen different places around the nation.
They originally broke out last month as resentment over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, in police custody boiled over. Authorities claim she had a health issue, but her family believes the morality police battered her to death.
According to reports, Evin has received hundreds of those who were detained during the protests.
Death to the dictator shouts, one of the primary slogans of the anti-government protest movement, could be heard in the background of one of the fire films shared online by the anti-government monitoring group 1500tasvir.
The state news agency reported that one of the prison’s storage rooms had been set on fire by convicts in one of the wings, although the BBC is unable to independently verify this claim.
The official news agency IRNA reported that the disturbance that started the fire was over and cited an anonymous official as saying that “troubles” broke out between inmates and guards in the area of the prison housing “thugs,” which seemed to rule out political detainees.
According to the unnamed source, “the situation is currently entirely under control,” according to IRNA.
Firefighters and riot police were spotted entering the prison, according to state media, and there are also claims that special forces have been sent to the region.
The roads leading to the prison are said to have been blocked off by security forces.
Families of detainees have gathered in front of the main door, a witness told Reuters news agency.
They also said “I can make out smoke and fire. many special forces. Also present are ambulances.”
In Evin, there are also many dual and foreign nationals, journalists, and political prisoners.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, who are both British and Iranian citizens, were both detained before being released earlier this year on suspicion of spying, which they both vehemently denied. They were each sentenced to six and five years in prison.
The institution has long been under fire from Western human rights organisations. Human Rights Watch has charged the prison’s administrators with utilising torture threats and indefinite detention as well as protracted interrogations and denying inmates medical care.
In August of last year, a gang of hackers going by the name Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice) shared films of leaked surveillance footage from the Evin prison showing guards abusing or beating inmates.