Center for Human Rights in Iran informed about at least 36 people killed during large-scale protests. Iranian authorities are talking about 17 dead, including five security personnel. Hundreds of people were hurt.
Protests in Iran began after the death of 22-year-old women’s rights activist Mahsa Amini from the Kurdish minority, who was detained and beaten by the vice police for loosening her hijab. A week later, protests swept over thirty Iranian cities, including the country’s capital, Tehran.
Thousands of Iranians continue to protest against police violence and, more broadly, against Iranian authorities’ brutal crackdown on dissent. From the very beginning of the demonstrations, women tore off their hijabs and ostentatiously twisted them in the air, some of them in public burnedas well as cut off hair in protest. A few days later, the demonstrators began shout out slogans “Death to the dictator!” and “Khamenei will be overthrown!” directed at the country’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
International human rights organization Amnesty International confirmedthat, in order to disperse predominantly peaceful protests, Iranian security forces fire shotgun shells and other metal balls at the crowd, use tear gas and water cannons, beaten protesters with batons. The organization called on the UN to launch an investigation into the illegal behavior of members of the Iranian security forces.
Iranian authorities responded to protests periodically turn off Internet in the country, but promised to investigate the death of Amini. They blamed the protests on foreign interference, without specifying the names of the interfering countries, and opposition from abroad, who allegedly used Amini’s death to incite public unrest.
Such rhetoric is used by the leaders of many authoritarian countries, whose citizens come out to protest, demanding respect and expansion of their rights.
- According to the rules adopted after the 1979 Iranian revolution, women are required to dress modestly in public, wearing a hijab and a long loose robe. The rules are enforced by the vice police, which includes both men and women.
- Iran’s former president Hassan Rouhani accused the vice police of being “overly aggressive”. In 2017, the chief of police said that women would no longer be arrested for violating the dress code.
- Since August 2021, since the beginning of the presidency of Ibrahim Raisi, the situation has worsened again. UN Human Rights Office informsthat the vice police abused young women, slapped them, beat them with batons, and pushed them into police cars.