HomeWorldConcern grows over Iran's 'lethal' crackdown on protests

Concern grows over Iran’s ‘lethal’ crackdown on protests

Mahsa Amini died three days after being immediately hospitalized after being arrested by the police responsible for enforcing Iran’s strict dress code for women

Mahsa Amini died three days after being immediately hospitalized after being arrested by the police responsible for enforcing Iran’s strict dress code for women

The United Nations and rights groups on Tuesday expressed concern over what activists described as a lethal crackdown in Iran following an arrest by Tehran’s notorious morality police over the death of a young woman.

22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on Friday, three days after she was immediately hospitalized after her arrest by the police. Iran’s strict dress code for women,

Activists said he suffered a head injury in custody, but this has not been confirmed by Iranian officials, who have launched an investigation.

There have been protests in Tehran, but the fiercest clashes so far have been in Iran’s northern Kurdistan province, where Amini was from, rights groups said so far four protesters have been killed and dozens injured and arrested.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said eyewitness accounts and videos circulating on social media indicated officers were using tear gas to disperse protesters and apparently using lethal force in Kurdistan province. has done.

Tara Sephehri Far, senior Iran researcher at HRW, said: “Acting with tear gas and lethal force against protesters demanding accountability for the death of a woman in police custody reflects the systematic nature of government abuses and impunity.” reinforces.”

In Geneva, the United Nations said the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nasif expressed concern over Amini’s death and the “violent response by security forces to the ensuing protests”.

He said there should be an independent investigation into the “tragic death of Mahsa Amini and the allegations of torture and abuse”.

‘Stop further state killings’

Kurdish human rights group Hengau, which is based in Norway, said it had confirmed a total of three deaths in Kurdistan province – one each in the cities of Divandareh, Saqz and Dehglan.

It said 221 people were injured and 250 others were arrested in the Kurdistan region, where the general strike also took place on Monday.

A 10-year-old girl – photos of her blood-soaked body have gone viral on social media – was injured in the city of Buchan but was alive, it added.

Images posted on social media showed fierce clashes with the sounds of live firing between protesters and security forces, especially in the city of Diwandareh.

The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group said four people were killed in the protests, where people raised slogans including “death to the dictator” and “Women, life, freedom”.

“The international community should not remain silent on the crimes committed by the Islamic Republic against its own people,” said IHR director Mahmoud Amiri-Moghaddam.

“We call on Iran, especially countries with diplomatic relations with the European Union, to stop further state killings by supporting the demands of the people to realize their basic rights.”

The IHR said security forces used sticks, tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and ammunition in some areas to “directly target the protesters and quell the protests.”

The UN statement said at least two people were killed and several were injured.

‘Systemic harassment’

Amini’s death has sparked an international outcry, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on Monday “the Iranian government to end its systemic oppression of women and allow peaceful protests.”

The Islamic headscarf has been publicly obligatory for all women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which ousted the Shah.

The rules are enforced by a special unit of the police known as the patrol-e ershad (guidance patrol), who have the power to arrest women who violate the dress code, although usually they is released with a warning.

In a rare published criticism from within Iran, Member of Parliament Jalal Rashidi Kuchi told ISNA news agency that “Gasht-e Ershad is wrong because it has no consequences for the country other than loss and damage,” adding that ” The main problem is that some people resist accepting the truth.”

Iran’s President Ibrahim Raisi is planning to fly to New York this week for the UN General Assembly, where he will face an intense scrutiny over Iran’s human rights record.

French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a rare meeting with Raisi later on Tuesday in a final attempt to agree a deal that revives the 2015 nuclear deal.

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