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Human rights group says at least 108 dead in Iran crackdown on protests

In addition to those killed in Mahsa Amini demonstrations, a further 93 killed in separate protests triggered by reported police rape, Oslo-based Iran Human Rights Group says

A garbage container blocks a road in the Iranian capital Tehran on October 8, 2022. (Photo obtained by AFP outside of Iran)
A garbage container blocks a road in the Iranian capital Tehran on October 8, 2022. (Photo obtained by AFP outside of Iran)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — 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.

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.

Women chant slogans and hold up signs depicting the image of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of Iranian authorities, during a demonstration denouncing her death held by Iraqi and Iranian Kurds outside the UN offices in Arbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, on September 24, 2022. (Safin Hamed/AFP)

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 Oslo-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.

Tear gas is fired by security to disperse protestors in front of the Tehran University, Iran, on October 1, 2022. (AP Photo, obtained from the photographer, who is not employed by the Associated Press, outside of Iran)

“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.

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