HomeWorldDeath toll from unrest in Iran rises to 31 due to protests

Death toll from unrest in Iran rises to 31 due to protests

The protests erupted over the death of a young woman, Mehsa Amini, for allegedly violating a dress code strictly enforced by the country’s ethics police.

The protests erupted over the death of a young woman, Mehsa Amini, for allegedly violating a dress code strictly enforced by the country’s ethics police.

At least 31 civilians have been killed in the crackdown on protests by Iranian security forces on death in custody Mahsa Amini was arrested by the ethics police, an Oslo-based NGO said on Thursday.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) director Mahmoud Amiri-Moghaddam said in a statement, “The people of Iran have taken to the streets to regain their fundamental rights and human dignity … and the government will respond to their peaceful protest with gunfire.” giving.” Publishing a toll after six days of protest.

The IHR said it confirmed the protests are taking place in more than 30 cities and other urban centres, raising concerns over “mass arrests” of protesters and civil society activists.

The IHR said its casualties included 11 people killed on Wednesday night in the city of Amol in the northern Mazandaran province of the Caspian Sea and six in Babol in the same province.

Meanwhile, the major northeastern city of Tabriz saw its first death in the protests, the IHR said. “The expression of condemnation and concern by the international community is no longer enough,” Mr Amiri-Moghaddam said.

The Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran, Iran on September 21, 2022

People hold fire in protest against the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic Republic’s “ethics police” in Tehran, Iran, on September 21, 2022. photo credit: Reuters

the scope of Iran’s continuing unrestThe worst in several years is still unclear as protesters in at least a dozen cities – venting anger over social repression and the country’s growing crisis – continue to confront security and paramilitary forces.

Massive outages of Instagram and WhatsApp, which protesters use to share information about the government’s action on dissent, continued on Thursday. Officials also appeared to block access to the Internet to the outside world, a tactic that rights activists say governments often employ in times of unrest.

In a country where radio and television stations are already state-controlled and journalists regularly face the threat of arrest, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on Thursday posted “fake news and rumours” on social media about unrest from the judiciary. urged to prosecute the perpetrators”.

Why are women cutting hair in protest in Iran?

Demonstrations in Iran began as an emotional outrage over the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, who was allegedly captured by the country’s ethics police. Violation of its strictly enforced dress code, His death has been strongly condemned by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

Police say she died of a heart attack and was not abused, but her family has cast doubt on her. Independent UN experts said on Thursday that reports indicated he was brutally beaten by morality police, and called for a fair investigation to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Protests over the past four days have turned into an open challenge to the government, with women removing and burning their state-mandated headscarves in the streets and Iranians setting trash cans on fire and calling for the fall of the Islamic republic.

“Death to the dictator!” This has been a common practice in protests.

Demonstrations have rocked university campuses in Tehran and far-flung western cities such as Kermanshah. Although widespread, the unrest appears to be different from the first round of nationwide protests triggered by pocketbook issues as Iran’s economy falters under heavy US sanctions.

The unrest that erupted in 2019 over the government’s sudden hike in petrol prices mobilized the working class in smaller towns. Hundreds of people were killed in the crackdown by security forces, the deadliest violence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to human rights groups.

Iran’s state media this week reported demonstrations of hundreds of people in at least 13 cities, including the capital Tehran. Videos online showed security forces using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protests. London-based Amnesty International said officers also fired bird shots and metal shells and beat protesters with sticks.

Footage on social media from the northern city of Tabriz showed a young man bleeding in a street allegedly shot by security forces as protesters shouted for help.

According to one, at least nine people have died in the collision. AP The count is based on statements from Iran’s official and semi-official media. In a statement on Thursday, the Guard accused “enemies of Iran” of the unrest, saying their “treason will fail.”

The provincial police chief in Amini’s home province in the northwest of Kurdistan said four protesters were killed in the fire. In Kermanshah, the prosecutor said two demonstrators were killed by opposition groups, insisting that the bullets were not fired by Iran’s security forces.

Some protesters seem to have targeted the security forces. According to semi-official media reports, three people belonging to Basij, a volunteer force under guard, were killed in clashes in the cities of Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad, bringing the death toll by officials from both sides to at least nine. .

In Mashhad, the state-run IRNA agency reported that a policeman was hospitalized with serious burns after protesters tried to set it ablaze.

Independent UN experts said at least eight people had been killed in the clashes, including a woman and a 16-year-old boy, while dozens of others were injured and arrested.

The conflicts have left traces of destruction. In Mazandaran province, off the coast of the Caspian Sea, angry mobs damaged or set fire to more than 40 government properties and injured 76 security officials, deputy governor Ruhollah Solgi said on Thursday.

As the protests spread, authorities shut down the internet in parts of the country, according to Netblocks, a London-based group that monitors internet access, calling the restrictions the most severe since the November 2019 mass protests. .

Iran has faced waves of protests in recent days, mainly over a long-running economic crisis stemming from Western sanctions linked to its nuclear program. Iranians also blame the government for corruption and mismanagement as prices of basic goods rise, currency shrinks in value and unemployment remains high.

The Biden administration and European allies are working to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in which Iran curbed its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, but talks have been at a standstill for months.

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