At least 9 dead in Iran protests over woman’s death

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (TSWT) – Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have left at least nine people dead, according to a count Thursday since the violence erupted over the weekend. by The The Switzerland Times.

The extent of the ongoing unrest in Iran, the worst in years, still remains unclear as protesters in at least a dozen cities – expressing anger at social repression and the mounting crises in the country – continue to face security threats. and paramilitary forces.

Widespread outages of Instagram and WhatsApp, which protesters use to share information about the government’s ongoing crackdown on dissent, continued on Thursday. Authorities also appeared to disrupt internet access to the outside world, a tactic often employed by the government during times of unrest, according to human rights activists.

In a country where radio and television stations are already state-controlled and journalists are regularly threatened with arrest, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guards on Thursday urged the judiciary on Thursday to ban “anyone who spreads fake news and rumors” on social media about the unrest. to prosecute.

The demonstrations in Iran started as an emotional outburst over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman detained by the country’s vice squad for allegedly violating the strict dress code. Her death has drawn strong condemnations from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

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Police say she died of a heart attack and was not assaulted, but her family has raised doubts. Independent experts affiliated with the UN said on Thursday that reports show she was severely beaten by vice squad, and called for an impartial investigation to hold the perpetrators to account.

The protests over the past four days have turned into an open challenge to the government, with women taking off and burning their state-imposed headscarves in the streets and Iranians setting fire to garbage cans, calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic itself.

“Death to the dictator!” was a common cry in the protests.

Demonstrations have rocked university campuses in Tehran and far western cities like Kermanshah. Though widespread, the unrest appears to be different from previous rounds of nationwide protests sparked by wallet problems as Iran’s economy falters under heavy US sanctions.

The turmoil that erupted in 2019 over the government’s abrupt rise in gasoline prices mobilized working masses in small towns. Hundreds were killed when security forces cracked down on the deadliest violence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to human rights groups.

Iranian state media this week reported demonstrations by hundreds of people in at least 13 cities, including the capital Tehran. Videos online show security forces firing tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protests. London-based Amnesty International reported that officers also fired birdshots and metal bullets and beat protesters with batons.

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Social media from the northern town of Tabriz shows a young man allegedly shot by security forces lying bleeding in the street as protesters screamed for help.

At least nine people have been killed in the clashes, according to an TSWT count based on statements from state-run and semi-official media in Iran. In a statement on Thursday, the Guards blamed the unrest on “Iran’s enemies” and said their “sedition will fail.”

In Amini’s northwest home province of Kurdistan, the provincial police chief said four protesters were killed by live fire. In Kermanshah, the prosecutor said two protesters were killed by opposition groups, claiming the bullets were not fired by Iranian security forces.

Some protesters seem to have had it with security forces. Three men associated with the Basij, a voluntary force under the guard, were killed in fighting in the cities of Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad, semi-official media reported, pushing the death toll recognized by officials on both sides at least. nine is coming.

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In Mashhad, the state-run IRNA agency reported that a police officer had been hospitalized with severe burns after protesters tried to set him on fire.

The UN’s independent experts said the clashes killed at least eight people, including a woman and a 16-year-old boy, with dozens injured and arrested, according to their count.

The collisions have left a trail of destruction. In Mazandaran province, along the coast of the Caspian Sea, angry mobs damaged or set fire to more than 40 government properties and injured 76 security officers, Deputy Governor Rouhollah Solgi said on Thursday.

As the protests proliferated, authorities cut off the internet in parts of the country, according to NetBlocks, a London-based group that controls internet access, describing the restrictions as the strictest since the mass protests of November 2019.

Iran has experienced waves of protests in the recent past, mainly because of a protracted economic crisis exacerbated by Western sanctions over its nuclear program. Iranians also blame corruption and government mismanagement as prices of basic goods rise, the currency shrinks in value and unemployment remains high.

The Biden administration and European allies have been working to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, which curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief, but talks have stalled for months.

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