At least 36 people have been killed in the crackdown on protests that erupted a week ago in Iran after a young woman was arrested by morality police, a New York-based NGO said.
Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested on September 13 in Tehran for “wearing inappropriate clothingby the morality police responsible for enforcing the dress code of the Islamic Republic. She died three days later in hospital, and her death sparked a series of protests across the country.
Activists said she received a fatal blow to the head but Iranian officials denied this and announced an investigation. State media reported the death of 17 people in these demonstrations, but NGOs, such as the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) based in New York, put forward higher tolls.
“The authorities have acknowledged the death of at least 17 people while independent sources speak of 36death, the CHRI said Thursday evening on Twitter. “Expect that toll to rise. International leaders must pressure Iranian officials to allow protests without the use of lethal weapons“, he added.
After the death of Mahsa Amini, demonstrations began in the main cities of Iran, including the capital Tehran, Isfahan (center) or Mashhad (north-east).
“The government retaliated with live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas, according to videos shared on social media that showed protesters bleeding profusely“, indicates the CHRI in a press release.
Amnesty International had recently denounced a “brutal repression“. She also mentioned the use by the security forces of “water cannons and sticks to disperse protesters“.
The authorities claim for their part that the demonstrators, described as “rioters“, threw stones at the police, set fire to police cars and chanted anti-government slogans, according to the official Irna agency.
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