A presenter on state television said late on Thursday that 26 protesters and policemen have been killed since protests broke out last Saturday following the funeral of Mahsa Amini, 22 age, without specifying how the authorities reached that number. He said official statistics will be released later, but during the recent turmoil, the Iranian government has not released an official death toll.
The unrest has left at least 11 people dead, according to an AP tally, based on statements from state and semi-official media. Most recently, Qazvin’s deputy governor, Abolhasan Kabiri, said a citizen and paramilitary officer were killed in the unrest that rocked two cities in the Northwest province.
The crisis that erupted in Iran was started by the death of Amini, a young woman from a northwestern Kurdish town who was detained by the country’s ethics police in Tehran last week for allegedly Violation of a strictly enforced dress code.
Her death sparked harsh condemnation from Western countries and the United Nations, and have touched national nerves. The videos show Amini wearing a long black headscarf and Islamic State hijab at the time of her arrest.
Police said she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated. But her family has cast doubt on that account, as have many Iranians who are expressing pent-up anger about social and political repression in the streets. Authorities allege that unnamed foreign nations and opposition groups are trying to incite unrest.
Video on social media showed protesters in Tehran setting fire to a police vehicle and confronting officers at close range. Elsewhere in the capital, videos showed gunfire as protesters hit riot police shouting, “They’re shooting at people! Oh my, they’re killing people! “
In the northwestern city of Neyshabur, protesters cheered over an overturned police vehicle. Footage from Tehran and Mashhad shows women waving their mandatory headscarves in the air like flags while chanting, “Freedom!”
The chants have turned bitter, with some calling for the demise of the ruling clerics. Protesters shouted, “Death to the dictator!” and “Mullahs must go!”
London-based watchdog Amnesty International accused security forces of beating protesters with batons and firing metal pellets at close range. Videos showed police and paramilitary officers using water cannons, tear gas and water cannons to disperse protests.
Iran has struggled with wave of protests in the recent past, mainly due to a protracted economic crisis exacerbated by US sanctions related to its nuclear program. In November 2019, the country saw the deadliest violence since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, when protests broke out over a rise in the price of state-controlled gasoline.
Economic hardship remains the main source of anger as Iran’s currency depreciates and unemployment remains high.
The Biden administration and its European allies are working to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in which Iran limited its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions, but talks have stalled. for many months.