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HomeWorld NewsIran protest death toll tops 75 as crackdown intensifies: Rights group

Iran protest death toll tops 75 as crackdown intensifies: Rights group

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The rights group said Monday that more than 75 people had died due to the Iranian government’s crackdown on unrest after the murder of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish lady. 

But she was in the custody of the morality police.

While everything was going on, the official death toll in Iran remained at 41, including numerous security personnel.

More than 1,200 individuals have been detained as the dragnet is expanded in response to the widespread protests over Amini’s death after her imprisonment for allegedly flouting the nation’s stringent laws regarding hijab headscarves and modest attire.

As they have done every night since Amini’s murder on September 16, protesters came to the streets again on Monday night in Tehran and elsewhere, according to witnesses who spoke to AFP.

The masses in Tehran chanted “death to the tyrant,” demanding an end to the 83-year-old supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s more than three decades of control.

Images uploaded by the Oslo-based organization Iran Human Rights showed people demonstrating the sound of tear gas being sprayed by police officers in what seemed to be the city of Tabriz (IHR).

IHR reported that the number of fatalities in the crackdown in Iran has increased from the previous tally of 57 to at least 76.

A video posted by Hengaw, a Kurdish rights organization in Norway, shows women in Sanandaj, Kurdistan region, raising their headscarves in defiance while vehicles honk their horns in support.

A day after the European Union condemned the crackdown and Tehran summoned the British and Norwegian envoys, tensions with Western nations increased when Germany summoned the Iranian ambassador, and Canada proposed penalties.

‘Police On Duty 24 Hours’

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of IHR, stated, “We urge on the international community to decisively and jointly take tangible actions to halt the death and torturing of protestors.”

He said “live ammunition is being directly fired at demonstrators” in video evidence and death certificates IHR received.

According to recent video footage obtained by AFP, Iranian students tore down enormous portraits of the supreme leader and his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as riot police in black body armor pounded protestors with truncheons in ongoing street skirmishes.

Hadis Najafi, a 22-year-old demonstrator, was reportedly slain in Karaj on September 21, according to a report from Amnesty International on Monday. 

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The rights organization corroborated previous social media accounts of the incident by claiming that “security agents fired birdshot at her from close range, striking her in the face, neck, and chest.”

Police vehicles, public buildings, and rocks have all been thrown by protesters.

Authorities estimate that 450 persons have been detained in the northern Mazandaran province, in addition to the over 700 detained in the neighboring Gilan province on Saturday and dozens in several other areas.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that twenty journalists are among those who have been detained.

Mohammad Karimi, the head prosecutor in Mazandaran, told the state news agency IRNA that protesters had destroyed public property and assaulted government facilities under the direction of “international anti-revolutionary agents.”

The Iranian judiciary president, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, thanked tired officers and the head of the capital’s police force during a visit to their headquarters on Sunday. 

According to a video released by Mizan Online, Tehran police have been on duty “24 hours a day,” and many have not slept.

Ejei has previously emphasized “the necessity for swift action without mercy” against the protest organizers.

However, a prominent Shiite cleric who has historically supported the ultra-conservative establishment in the nation asked authorities to adopt a gentler stance.

On Sunday, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani said that “the leaders must listen to the demands of the people, fix their difficulties, and show sensitivity to their rights.”

Tensions with the West

New videos circulated extensively on social media on Sunday night revealed demonstrations in Tehran and other towns, including Yazd, Isfahan, and Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, despite extensive internet restrictions, including blockages on Instagram and WhatsApp.

According to reports, students at Tehran, Al-Zahra, and the Sharif Institute went on strike and pushed faculty to follow suit.

Josep Borrell, the head of foreign affairs for the EU, criticized Iran on Sunday for its “widespread and excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators.”

In reaction to the execution of Mahsa Amini and the government’s handling of the demonstrations in Iran, a nation already subject to harsh sanctions due to its nuclear program, he said that the EU will “continue to explore all the alternatives at its disposal.”

Tehran, for its part, said on Sunday that it had summoned Norway’s ambassador over the house speaker’s “unconstructive statements” on the protests and the British ambassador to protest what it termed an “invitation to rioting” by London-based Farsi language media.

The morality police were subject to penalties last week by the United States, and Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, said on Monday that his nation will follow suit as part of a package of measures “on dozens of persons and businesses.”

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