Three Teens Among 15 Iranians Facing Death Penalty

This UGC image posted on Twitter reportedly on October 26, 2022 shows an unveiled woman standing on top of a vehicle as thousands make their way towards Aichi cemetery in Saqez, Mahsa Amini’s home town in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan, to mark 40 days since her death, defying heightened security measures as part of a bloody crackdown on women-led protests. (Photo by UGC / AFP).

 

Three Iranian teenagers are among 15 people who could face the death penalty over the killing of a pro-government paramilitary force member, the judiciary said Wednesday.

Iran has been rocked by street violence since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s dress code for women.

A group of 15 people was charged with “corruption on earth” over the death of Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij paramilitary force, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported.


READ ALSO: Protester Shot By Hong Kong Police Jailed For Six Years


Prosecutors allege Ajamian, 27, was stripped naked and killed on November 3 in Karaj, a city west of Tehran, by a group of mourners who had been paying tribute to a slain protester.

Initially, on November 12, Mizan Online announced charges for 11 people over Ajamian’s killing, including a woman.

But on Wednesday, as the trial opened, it said 15 defendants in the case had been charged with “corruption on earth” — a sharia-related charge that is a capital crime in the Islamic republic.

“Three of the accused are aged 17” and their cases would be dealt with by a juvenile court, the website added.

An Iranian general said on Monday that more than 300 people have been killed in the unrest, including dozens of security force members, and thousands have been arrested, among them around 40 foreigners.

More than 2,000 people have been charged with offences, according to the authorities.

At least six people have so far been sentenced to death, their fates now depending on the supreme court which rules on appeals.

China Moves To Curb Rare, Nationwide Protests

A picture of the Chinese flag.
The Chinese flag.

 

Chinese security forces on Monday filled the streets of Beijing and Shanghai following online calls for another night of protests to demand political freedoms and an end to Covid lockdowns.

People have taken to the streets in major cities and gathered at university campuses across China in a wave of nationwide protests not seen since pro-democracy rallies in 1989 were crushed.

A deadly fire last week in Urumqi, the capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang region, was the catalyst for public anger, with many blaming Covid-19 lockdowns for hampering rescue efforts.

Beijing has accused “forces with ulterior motives” for linking the fire to Covid measures.

At an area in the economic hub of Shanghai where demonstrators gathered at the weekend, AFP witnessed police leading three people away. China’s online censorship machine also worked to scrub signs of the social media-driven rallies.

A planned protest in the capital Beijing later on Monday came to nothing as several dozen police officers and vans choked a crossroad near the assembly point in the western Haidian district.

Police vehicles lined the road to nearby Sitong Bridge, where a lone protester hung banners last month denouncing President Xi Jinping before being detained.

Demonstrators had shared online a plan to march to the bridge following a successful rally the day before near the Liangma river.

In Hong Kong, where mass democracy protests erupted in 2019, dozens gathered at the Chinese University to mourn the victims of the Urumqi fire, an AFP journalist said.

“Don’t look away. Don’t forget. We are not foreign forces. We are Chinese youth,” they shouted.

People also displayed banners and held flowers in the Central district of the financial hub, on which Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law after the 2019 protests.

And in Hangzhou, just over 170 kilometres (106 miles) southwest of Shanghai, there was strict security and sporadic protests in the city’s downtown, footage circulating on social media and partly geolocated by AFP showed.

Chants and banners 

Protesters have notably used the rallies to call for greater freedoms, with some even demanding the resignation of President Xi, recently re-appointed to a historic third term as China’s leader.

Large crowds gathered Sunday in Beijing and Shanghai, where police clashed with demonstrators as they tried to stop groups from converging at Wulumuqi street, named after the Mandarin for Urumqi.

The BBC said one of its journalists had been arrested and beaten by police while covering the Shanghai protests, although China’s foreign ministry insisted the reporter had not identified himself as such.

The unrest prompted the United Nations on Monday to call for China to respect the right to protest.

“We call on the authorities to respond to protests in line with international human rights laws and standards,” UN Human Rights Office spokesman Jeremy Laurence told reporters.

“No one should be arbitrarily detained for peacefully expressing their opinions.”

In Beijing on Monday, where at least 400 people gathered for several hours the previous night, a repeat rally took place, an AFP journalist said.

One protester told AFP that she and five of her friends who attended the protest received phone calls from Beijing police demanding information about their movements Monday evening.

In one case, she said, a police officer visited her friend’s home after they refused to answer their phone.

“He said my name and asked me whether I went to the Liangma river last night… he asked very specifically how many people were there, what time I went, how I heard about it,” she told AFP, asking to stay anonymous for safety reasons.

AFP journalists at the tense scene of the Shanghai protests on Monday also saw a heavy police presence, with temporary blue fences in place along the pavements to stop further gatherings.

Three people were then detained by police at the site, an AFP journalist saw, with law enforcement preventing passersby from taking photos or video of the area.

Shanghai police did not confirm to AFP how many people had been detained despite repeated enquiries.

An AFP journalist also filmed people being detained on Sunday.

 ‘Boiling point’ 

China’s strict control of information and continued travel curbs tied to the zero-Covid policy make verifying the numbers of protesters across the vast country challenging.

But such widespread rallies are exceptionally rare, with authorities harshly clamping down on all opposition to the central government.

At the scene of the Beijing riverside rally, where rows of police vehicles were in place on Monday, a jogger in her twenties told AFP she had seen the protests on social media and that she supported them.

“This protest was a good thing, it sent the signal that people were fed up with too strong restrictions,” said the jogger, who asked not to be identified.

“People have now reached a boiling point because there has been no clear path to end the zero-Covid policy,” Alfred Wu Muluan, a Chinese politics expert at the National University of Singapore, told AFP.

“The party has underestimated the people’s anger.”

China reported 40,052 domestic Covid-19 cases Monday, a record high but tiny compared to caseloads in the West at the height of the pandemic.

AFP

Truck Drivers Protest Harassment, Barricade Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway

Some truck workers protest along the Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway in Abia State.

 

Activities were grounded on Thursday along the Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway as truck drivers barricaded the road in Abia State.

The protest by the trailers, tankers, tippers and other articulated vehicle drivers from the Ariaria junction to Flyover Alaoji in Aba caused gridlock and untold hardship to commuters along the corridor.

Channels Television reports that the aggrieved drivers are not happy with the state of the roads, incessant intimidation and harassment of truck drivers by the Task Force at night amongst other issues.

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Having barricaded the road for nine days, they demand a reversal in the fees demanded by security operatives.

It was gathered that the protest, which started last Thursday has now stretched from Flyover to Obehie, over 25 kilometres and beyond Osisioma, towards the Enugu end of the expressway.

At the scene of the protest, the truck drivers were seen cooking their meals on the expressway. Since the protest started, they shifted their base from the Ariaria Junction to Osisioma Junction, thereby preventing vehicles from the northern part of the country and other parts of South East from entering Aba.

Addressing journalists, the leader of the protesting truck drivers, Comrade Richard Chinedu said their decision to be on the roads for more than a week is aimed at drawing the attention of the government to their plights.

He described travelling along the Aba to Port Harcourt section of the expressway as hellish, lamenting the large-scale extortion of truck drivers by security operatives deployed to provide security along the expressway.

He believes their action has further compounded their plight of navigating the bad portions of the expressway.

The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Bala, was on the ground to receive the protesters, calling for calm.

CP Bala assured the aggrieved drivers that their grievances will be channelled to the right quarters.

“All of us here must adopt community safety police partnership. I appeal for calm, and I must appreciate your peaceful conduct,” the police commissioner said.

“Please continue to allow peace to reign, I will convey your grievances to the appropriate quarters and in due time, there will be room for consultation.”

King Charles Narrowly Avoids Being Hit By Eggs

Britain’s King Charles III and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort are welcomed to the City of York during a ceremony at Micklegate Bar during their visit to York, northern England on November 9, 2022 as part of a two-day tour of Yorkshire. (Photo by James Glossop / POOL / AFP)

 

King Charles III and his wife Queen Consort Camilla narrowly avoided being hit with eggs thrown at them during a visit to northern England on Wednesday, British media footage showed.

The 73-year-old monarch and Camilla, 75, appeared to be targeted with three eggs which landed near them during a walkabout in York, before they were ushered away by minders.

A man was heard shouting “this country was built on the blood of slaves” and “not my king” before he was detained by several police officers as the incident occurred, the footage showed.

The protester also booed the royal couple before he appeared to lob the eggs at them, according to reporters at the scene.

Other people in the crowds that had gathered at the historic Micklegate Bar location for the visit started chanting “God save the King” and “shame on you” at the protester.

Charles and Camilla continued with a traditional ceremony to officially welcome the sovereign to the city of York by the lord mayor as police were pictured taking the suspected perpetrator into custody.

UK media named him as a former Green Party candidate and activist with the Extinction Rebellion environmental protest group.

The royals were in the historic city to attend the unveiling of a statue of Charles’s mother Queen Elizabeth II, the first to be installed since her death on September 8.

On Tuesday, Charles met artists in nearby Leeds who had taken part in a project exploring Britain’s role in slavery — and revealed he was open to discussions on the topic.

‘Be open’

“He is ready to have these conversations and see what work can be done,” Fiona Compton, a St Lucian artist and historian who knows the monarch and was involved in the project, told reporters afterwards.

“He agrees, this is British history, it should not be hidden.

“In the same way we are speaking about the Holocaust, we should be open to speaking about Britain’s involvement in the slave trade,” added Compton, whose father was prime minister of St Lucia.

The issue has increasingly confronted the royal family, as growing republican movements in Commonwealth countries with the British monarch as head of state call on the Crown to apologise for the slave trade and atone for colonisation.

During a tour of the Caribbean by the king’s eldest son Prince William earlier this year, he faced protests about past royal links to slavery, demands for reparations and growing republican sentiment.

Charles’s youngest brother, Prince Edward, experienced similar protests and cancelled a leg to Grenada after pro-republican protests there.

Domestically, Charles is less popular than his late mother, who maintained highly favourable ratings throughout her record-breaking seven-decade reign.

The latest polling by YouGov found 44 percent of adults had a positive opinion of him, compared to nearly three-quarters for Queen Elizabeth II.

Despite promoting environmental causes for decades, climate activists last month smeared chocolate cake over a waxwork model Charles at London’s Madame Tussauds museum.

During the national period of mourning for the queen in September, republican movements said anti-monarchist views were drowned out.

There was criticism of police handling of protesters who publicly questioned the hereditary principle of Charles’s accession.

Iranians Defy Crackdown As Another Teen Reported Killed

 

Iranians staged new protest actions Thursday in defiance of a crackdown by the authorities as a rights groups said an 18-year-old became the latest teen killed in clashes in the northwest.

Iran has for over six weeks been gripped by protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini who had been arrested by the notorious morality police — a movement that poses the biggest challenge to the Islamic republic since the 1979 revolution.

The clerical leadership under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 83, has responded with a crackdown that as well as killing dozens has seen 1,000 people charged so far and according to activists risking the death penalty.

With the movement no signs of abating, the problems for the authorities are compounded by the tradition in Iran of holding a “chehelom” mourning ceremony 40 days after a death, meaning each new killing can fuel new protest actions.

Norway-based group Iran Human Rights said large numbers in the city of Karaj outside Tehran were Thursday attending a 40-day ceremony for Hadis Najafi, a 22-year-old woman activists say was killed by security forces in September.

IHR said police had blocked the highway leading to the cemetery to prevent even larger numbers attending.

“This year is the year of blood, Seyyed Ali (Khamenei) will be toppled,” the video showed them chanting.

‘Show trials’

The Kurdish rights organisation Hengaw reported a sequence of protests had taken place Wednesday in the Kurdish-populated regions of northwestern Iran where Amini hailed from, including the city of Sanandaj which has become a major protest flashpoint.

It said Momen Zandkarimi, 18-year-old from Sanandaj, was killed by direct fire from Iranian security forces.

Due to the pressure from Iranian security agencies who fear his funeral could turn into a protest, his body has been moved to another village for burial, it added.

According to an updated death toll issued Wednesday by IHR, 176 people have been killed in the crackdown on protests sparked by Amini’s death.

Another 101 people have lost their lives in a distinct protest wave in Zahedan in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Of all those killed, 40 were under 18 years of age, it added.

Thousands have been arrested nationwide, rights activists say, while Iran’s judiciary has said 1,000 people had already been charged over what it describes as “riots”.

The trial of five men charged with offences that can carry the death penalty over the protests opened Saturday in Tehran.

“The charges and sentences have no legal validity and their sole purpose is to commit more violence and create societal fear,” said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, condemning the “show trials”.

Hadi Ghaemi, head of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, warned that courts handing down death sentences would be a “blatant attempt to terrorise the Iranian people into silence”.

‘Brutal crackdown’

Activists condemned as a forced confession a video published by state-run Iranian media of Toomaj Salehi, a prominent rapper arrested at the weekend after backing the protests, in which a blindfolded man saying he is Salehi admits to making “a mistake”.

Freedom of expression group Article 19 said it was “extremely disturbed Iran state media are sharing forced confessions” with the subject “under clear duress”.

He is currently being held incommunicado under the control of intelligence agents in Tehran’s Evin prison, his uncle Iqbal Iqbali told news site Iran Wire.

At least 51 journalists have been detained in the protest crackdown, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Fourteen are confirmed to have been released on bail.

Journalist Yaghma Fashkhami became the latest prominent figure to be arrested, his wife Mona Moafi wrote on Twitter.

There is also growing concern over the wellbeing of Wall Street Journal contributor and freedom of expression campaigner Hassan Ronaghi, who was arrested in September and according to his family is on hunger strike with two broken legs sustained in custody.

On Wednesday, US Vice President Kamala Harris saluted the “bravery” of the women-led protests, as she said Washington would work to remove Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

“Iran has demonstrated through its denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on its own people that it is unfit to serve on this commission,” Harris said.

Sudan Police Fire Tear Gas As Thousands Protest Military Rule

Demonstrators march in a protest in the area of Bashdar in the south of Sudan’s capital Khartoum on October 25, 2022 on the first anniversary of the military’s arrest of the civilian administration that shared power after the 2019 overthrow of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir. (Photo by AFP)

 

Security forces fired tear gas Sunday as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Sudanese capital demanding a return to civilian rule, AFP correspondents said.

Raising Sudanese flags and posters of activists killed during pro-democracy protests, protesters tried to march on the presidential palace in central Khartoum as security forces used tear gas to disperse them.

Others chanted against military rule and erected barricades in North Khartoum and Omdurman, an AFP correspondent said.

Tear gas was also fired in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman and in North Khartoum, where protesters tried to cross the bridge leading to the centre of the capital.


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In the eastern city of Kassala, some “800 young men and women” came out to demand civilian rule, eyewitness Hussein Mohamed Shahed told AFP.

Protesters chanted, “soldiers go back to the barracks”, a regular rallying cry in near-weekly protests since last year’s coup toppled civilian leaders.

On October 25, 2021, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power, arresting civilian leaders and derailing a transition to civilian rule that had started with the 2019 ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Protests were reignited last week on the first anniversary of the power grab, when thousands marched across Sudan, demanding an end to the political and economic crisis that has gripped the country.

Security forces fired tear gas at Khartoum marches, and one protester was killed when he was crushed by a military vehicle in Omdurman, according to pro-democracy medics.

According to the medics’ tally, 119 people have been killed while protesting against military rule over the past year.

The coup exacerbated a wider security breakdown that has left hundreds more dead, while the country, already one of the world’s poorest, battles three-digit inflation and chronic food shortages.

Iran Teachers To Strike Over ‘Merciless’ Crackdown On Children

Activists demonstrate over the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran outside The New York Times building in New York City on September 27, 2022. – More than 75 people have been killed in the Iranian authorities’ crackdown against unrest sparked by the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody, a rights group said on September 26. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP)

 

An Iranian teachers’ union has called a two-day strike from Sunday over the lethal targeting of schoolchildren in a crackdown on protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death.

The death of 22-year-old Amini, after her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran’s strict dress code for women, has fuelled the biggest protests seen in the Islamic republic for years.

Young women, university students and schoolgirls have led the charge, removing their headscarves, chanting anti-government slogans and confronting the security forces on the streets.


READ ALSO: Iran Schoolgirl Dies After Beating By Security Forces


A person in Cairo looks on October 20, 2022 at a tweet about the reported death of 15-year-old Iranian girl Asra Panahi.

The Co-ordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates on Thursday called a strike in response to the crackdown that Amnesty International says has cost the lives of at least 23 children.

“The Co-ordinating Council declares sit-in strikes for Sunday and Monday. We teachers will be present at schools but will refrain from being present in classes,” it said in a statement posted on its Telegram channel.

“We know very well that the military and security forces and plainclothes (officers) have violated schools and educational centres,” it said.

“During this systematic oppression, they have mercilessly taken the lives of a number of pupils and children; from Nika (Shahkarami) and Sarina (Esmailzadeh), to Abolfazl (Adinezadeh) and Asra Panahi.”

The four, all in their teens, were killed by Iran’s security forces during the crackdown on the nationwide protests that has flared since September 16, when Amini died in custody, according to human rights groups.

Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights said on Thursday that at least 27 children have been killed by the security forces and that children and teachers are among the thousands arrested in the crackdown.

In its statement, the teachers’ union said “a large number of teachers have been arrested” without being charged.

“The rulers must know that … Iran’s teachers do not tolerate these atrocities and tyranny and proclaims that we are for the people, and these bullets and pellets you shoot at the people target our lives and souls,” it said.

“This is why the Co-ordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates supports the rightful protests of the people across Iran, and condemns the killings and oppression of past weeks.”

It vowed to “continue our protest until the people’s right to protest is recognised, all pupils are unconditionally freed and return to schools, the system stops killing the people and children, and stops answering the people’s rightful demands with bullets”.

Iran Schoolgirl Dies After Beating By Security Forces

A person in Cairo looks on October 20, 2022 at a tweet about the reported death of 15-year-old Iranian girl Asra Panahi.

 

A 15-year-old Iranian girl died last week after being beaten during a raid by the security forces on her school, a teachers’ union said, urging the authorities to stop killing “innocent” protesters.

Asra Panahi died on October 13, after “plainclothes officers attacked” Shahed High School in the northwestern city of Ardabil, the Co-ordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates said.

The pupils had been taken into town for an “ideological event” at a spot known to be a centre for protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death in the custody of Iran’s notorious morality police.

Some pupils, who started “chanting slogans against discrimination and inequality”, were “subjected to violence and insults by plainclothes and veiled women”, the union said.


READ ALSO: At Least 150 Killed In Two Days Of Fighting In Sudan’s South


After being returned to school, they were beaten again, it said in a statement issued on Monday.

“After that one of the pupils named Asra Panahi unfortunately passed away in hospital and a number of students were arrested,” it said, adding the beating left another pupil in a coma.

State television later aired an interview with her uncle in which he said she died of heart failure.

Ardabil’s parliamentary representative, Kazem Mousavi, was quoted as saying she had “committed suicide by swallowing pills” in a report by the Didban Iran website.

Those accounts raised the ire of retired Iranian football star Ali Daei, who hails from Ardabil and has run into trouble with the authorities over his support for the Amini protests.

In a post to his 10 million Instagram followers, Daei said he did not believe Panahi had died of heart failure and dismissed as “rumours” the MP’s claim that she had taken her own life.

The death of the 22-year-old Amini, after her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran’s strict dress code for women, has fuelled the biggest protests seen in the country for years.

In its statement issued on Tuesday, the teachers’ union slammed the school’s decision to get pupils involved in the “ideological event” without the consent of their parents.

“The council calls on the system and military and security forces to stop their transgressions against schools,” it said.

“This council also calls on the system to stop the killing of innocent people and defenceless protesters.”

In response to Daei’s Instagram post, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website rejected his version of events as “fake news”.

“If Mr Daei has any proof regarding the claims made about the death of the girl pupil in Ardabil, he is expected to present them to the related officials as soon as possible and to follow up on them,” it said.

A coalition of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, said on Monday that the security forces’ crackdown on the Amini protests has killed at least 23 identified children.

Iran Accuses Biden Of ‘Inciting Chaos’ During Protests

People take part in a candlelight vigil for Mahsa Amini who died in custody of Iran's morality police, in Los Angeles, California, September 29, 2022. (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP)
People take part in a candlelight vigil for Mahsa Amini who died in custody of Iran’s morality police, in Los Angeles, California, September 29, 2022. (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP)

 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday accused his US counterpart of “inciting chaos” after President Joe Biden expressed support for protests in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s death in custody.

“The remarks of the American president, who is inciting chaos, terror and the destruction of another country, serve as a reminder of the eternal words of the founder of the Islamic republic, who called America the Great Satan,” Raisi said, referring to the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei.

“The enemy’s plot must be countered by effective measures to resolve people’s problems,” Raisi added, according to a presidency statement.

Iran has been rocked by protests since 22-year-old Amini’s death on September 16, three days after she was arrested by morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.


READ ALSO: At Least Eight Killed In ‘Terrible’ Prison Fire Amid Iran Protests


The street violence has led to dozens of deaths, mostly among protesters but also among the security forces, and hundreds have of demonstrators been arrested.

Biden had said Friday that “we stand with the citizens, the brave women of Iran.

“It stunned me what it awakened in Iran. It awakened something that I don’t think will be quieted for a long, long time,” said the US president.

Earlier Sunday, Iran’s foreign affairs spokesman Nasser Kanani had shrugged off Biden’s comments, saying that “Iran is too strong for its will to be swayed by the interference… by a politician tired of years of failure.”

“We will together defend the independence of Iran,” Kanani wrote on Instagram.

On October 6, the United States slapped sanctions on seven senior Iranian officials for involvement in the crackdown.

The US Treasury last month also placed sanctions on the morality police.

At Least 108 Dead In Iran Crackdown On Mahsa Amini Protests, Says IHR

In this file photo taken on April 22, 2007 Iranian morality police stand to check the women for their clothing and hair during a crackdown to enforce Islamic dress code in west of Tehran. AFP

 

At least 108 people have been killed in Iran’s crackdown on more than three weeks of nationwide protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, said Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.

The Iranian security forces also killed at least another 93 people during separate clashes in the city of Zahedan, in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, IHR said in a statement.

Protests erupted across Iran on September 16, when Amini died three days after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran by the morality police for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.


READ ALSO: Biden Says He ‘Can Beat’ Former US President Donald Trump Again


The violence in Zahedan erupted on September 30 during protests that were triggered by anger over the reported rape of a teenage girl by a police commander in the region.

Human rights groups also voiced alarm on Tuesday over the extent of the crackdown in Sanandaj, the capital of Amini’s home province of Kurdistan in Iran’s west.

“The international community must prevent further killings in Kurdistan by issuing an immediate response,” IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said in Wednesday’s statement.

IHR indicated its investigation into the extent of the “repression” in Kurdistan had been hampered by internet restrictions and warned of an “impending bloody crackdown” on demonstrators in the western province.

“The city of Sanandaj in Kurdistan province has witnessed widespread protests and bloody crackdowns in the past three days,” IHR said, adding that its current death toll for the province excluded those killed in that period.

The Olso-based group said it had so far recorded 28 deaths in Mazandaran province, 14 in Kurdistan, 12 in both Gilan and West Azerbaijan, and 11 in Tehran province.

It said the Iranian security forces had also arrested many children protesting on the streets and at schools in the past week.

“Children have a legal right to protest, the United Nations has an obligation to defend children’s rights in Iran by applying pressure on the Islamic republic,” said Amiry-Moghaddam.

IHR said its toll also excluded six deaths that reportedly occurred during protests inside Rasht central prison in northern Iran on Sunday as it was still investigating the case.

It said workers had also joined in nationwide strikes and protests at Asalouyeh petrochemical plant in Iran’s southwest, Abadan in western Iran and Bushehr to the south.

Iran Restricts WhatsApp, Instagram As Protests Grow

Protesters on the street of Tehran days after Masha Amini’s death

 

Iran has restricted major social media platforms following the ongoing protest in Iran, because of the death of Masha Amini who was arrested in Tehran for allegedly wearing ‘an unsuitable attire’ and putting on her hijab headscarf improperly. 

The country curbed access to Instagram and WhatsApp, according to residents and internet observer NetBlocks.

NetBlocks also reported a “nation-scale loss of connectivity” on Iran’s main mobile telephone provider and another company’s network leaving millions of Iranians offline.

WhatsApp’s servers were disrupted on multiple internet providers, hours after Instagram’s services were blocked, London-based NetBlocks said.

Without the use of the internet, citizens are unable to send out videos and pictures of what is going on.

Authorities claimed that Masha Amini had a stroke and heart attack while she was detained at the “guidance centre” and died days later after being transferred to the hospital.

Her family denied the claims by the Iranian authorities, saying she did not have any pre-existing condition

Social media websites such as TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are routinely blocked in parts of the Islamic Region. But tech-savvy residents often use virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass the curbs.

Netblocks also report that this is the ‘most severe’ outage since the internet was blocked during 2019’s fuel protests.

Protests Spread Across Iran Over Death Of Woman In Outfit Controversy

 

Photo of protesters gathering around a burning car during a protest

 

 

Protests spread to 15 cities across Iran overnight over the death of the young woman Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the country’s morality police, state media reported on Wednesday.

On the fifth night of street rallies, police used tear gas and made arrests to disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people, the official IRNA news agency said.

Demonstrators blockaded streets, hurled stones at security forces, set fire to police vehicles and garbage bins, and chanted anti-government slogans, it added.

Public anger has flared since authorities Friday announced the death of 22-year-old Amini, after her arrest by the morality police responsible for enforcing a strict dress code for women.

Amini had fallen into a coma after being detained for wearing a hijab headscarf in an “improper” way, state media has reported.

In the demonstrations, many Iranian women have taken off their headscarves in protest.

Rallies were held overnight in the capital Tehran and other major cities, including Mashhad in the northeast, Tabriz in the northwest, Rasht in the north, Isfahan in the center and Shiraz in the south, IRNA reported.

Ismail Zarei Koosha, the governor of Kurdistan — Amini’s home province where the protests started — said on Tuesday that three people had been killed during protests in the province, without specifying when.

Amini’s death and Iran’s response to the protests have sparked condemnations from the United Nations, United States, France, and other countries.

Foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani late Tuesday condemned what he called “foreign interventionist positions”.

“It is regrettable that some countries try to take advantage of an incident under investigation as an opportunity to pursue their political goals and desires against the government and people of Iran,” he said.

-AFP