Amnesty International said Tuesday it had evidence raising “serious concerns” that Iranian authorities tried to justify a crackdown on prisoners at Tehran's Evin prison by saying it was battling a fire at the facility and working to prevent prisoners from escaping.
Iranian authorities have said eight people died and 61 prisoners were injured in a fire at the prison Saturday.
“Consistent with long-standing patterns of denial and cover-up of their crimes, the authorities swiftly issued statements attributing the deaths to asphyxiation from smoke inhalation and fighting among the inmates,” Amnesty said in a statement.
The organization called for the U.N. Human Rights Council to establish an investigative and accountability process “to address the most serious crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations committed by the authorities in Iran.”
Amnesty also urged Iranian authorities to allow independent international observers to have unhindered access to Iranian prisons as soon as possible.
Prisoners and their families have expressed serious concerns about their safety, especially after the suspension of visits to prisoners after the incident.