October 7, 2022

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned as protests spread over woman's death

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned as protests spread over woman’s death

  • Revolutionary Guard issues warning of unrest
  • Reports of security forces being attacked
  • A Kurdish woman died after being arrested by the morality police
  • The Iranian government has vowed to investigate her death

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards called on the judiciary on Thursday to prosecute “those who spread false news and rumors” about a young woman whose death in police custody sparked protests across the country.

Protesters in Tehran and other Iranian cities set police stations and vehicles on fire earlier on Thursday, with no signs of backing down in public anger over her death, and with reports that security forces had been attacked.

Mahsa Amini, 22, died last week after she was arrested in Tehran for wearing “inappropriate clothing”. She fell into a coma while in detention. The authorities said they would open an investigation into the cause of her death.

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In a statement, the Guard expressed its sympathy with Amini’s family and relatives.

The guards, who launched a crackdown on the protests in the past, said.

Iranian media said that the pro-government protests are scheduled to take place on Friday.

“The will of the Iranian people is: Do not pardon criminals,” the influential hard-line newspaper Kayhan said.

The protests over the killing of Amini are the largest in the Islamic Republic since 2019. Most of them have been concentrated in Iran’s Kurdish-populated northwest, but have spread to the capital and at least 50 cities and towns across the country, where police have used force to disperse protesters.

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A new disruption to the mobile internet has been recorded in Iran, internet monitoring group Netblocks wrote on Twitter, in a possible sign that the authorities may fear an intensification of protests.

A group of UN experts, including Javed Rehman, the special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, and Marie Lawlor, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, demanded accountability for Amini’s death.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Ms. Amini. She is another victim of Iran’s ongoing repression and systematic discrimination against women and the imposition of discriminatory dress codes that deny women physical independence and freedom of opinion, expression and belief,” the experts said in a statement.

Two Iranian semi-official news agencies reported on Thursday that a member of a pro-government Iranian paramilitary organization, the Basij, was stabbed to death in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Wednesday.

Reports of the Tasnim and Faris news agencies appeared on the stabbing incident on Telegram because their websites did not work on Thursday. There was no official confirmation of death.

Tasnim also said that another member of the Basij was killed on Wednesday in the city of Qazvin from wounds sustained by “rioters and gangs.”

Noor News, a media outlet affiliated with a high-ranking security apparatus, published a video of an army officer confirming the death of a soldier in the unrest, bringing the total number of security force personnel killed in the unrest to five.

An official from Mazandaran said that 76 members of the security forces were injured in the province during the unrest, while the Kurdistan police chief announced that more than 100 security forces were injured.

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A video posted on the Twitter account 1500tasvir, in the northeast of the country, showed protesters chanting “We will die, we will die but we will bring Iran back” near a police station that was set on fire. The account focuses on protests in Iran and has nearly 100,000 followers.

Reuters was unable to verify the footage.

Another police station in Tehran caught fire as unrest spread from Amini’s hometown of Kurdistan, where she was buried on Saturday.

personal liberties

Amini’s death has reignited anger over issues including restrictions on personal liberties in Iran – including a strict dress code for women – and an economy reeling from sanctions.

Iran’s clerical rulers fear a revival of the 2019 protests that erupted over high gasoline prices, the bloodiest in the Islamic Republic’s history. Reuters reported that 1,500 were killed.

This week, protesters also expressed their anger at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A crowd was seen chanting in Tehran “Mojtaba, I hope you die and not become the supreme leader,” referring to Khamenei’s son, who some believe may succeed his father at the head of Iran’s political establishment.

Reuters was unable to verify the video.

The reports of the Kurdish human rights organization Hengau, which Reuters could not verify, said the death toll in Kurdish areas had risen to 15 and the number of wounded had risen to 733. Iranian officials denied that security forces had killed protesters, suggesting that they might have been shot. by armed dissidents.

With the protests showing no sign of easing, authorities have restricted internet access, according to accounts by Hengaw, residents and the NetBlocks internet closure monitor.

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Women played a prominent role in the protests, waving and burning veils, and some cutting their hair in public.

In northern Iran, mobs armed with batons and stones attacked two members of the security forces on a motorbike as the crowd chanted, according to footage that Reuters could not verify.

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Reporting by Dubai office; Written by Michael Georgi. Editing by Mark Heinrich and Raisa Kasulowski

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.