violence against protesters
Berlin appoints Iranian ambassador
09/26/2022, 3:46 p.m
Because of the suppression of protests in Iran, the Federal Foreign Office summons the Iranian ambassador. While the EU is threatening sanctions against Tehran, special courts for demonstrators are being planned there. They should be dealt with in the same way “as with rapists and criminals”.
After the violent suppression of dissident demonstrations in Iran because of the death of a young woman, the Federal Foreign Office summoned the country’s ambassador. The conversation will take place in the afternoon, said a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin. He also emphasized that all options for a reaction would be discussed quickly at EU level.
Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on behalf of the 27 member states that the disproportionate use of force against non-violent protesters in Iran was unjustifiable and unacceptable. Iran must clarify the number of dead and arrested, release all non-violent protesters and give due process to those arrested. Mahsa Amini’s death must be properly investigated and those responsible held accountable. At the same time, the EU threatened vaguely with possible sanctions against Iran.
Iran rejected the criticism. “This is interference in Iran’s internal affairs and support for rioters,” said foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani. The Mahsa Amini case is currently under investigation, but the EU and the West ignore this fact and support troublemakers who threaten Iran’s security.
“Foreign Hired Troublemakers”
The head of justice in the capital Tehran, Ali Alghassimehr, also announced that the Iranian judicial authority is planning special courts for demonstrators who have been arrested during the nationwide protests. “Leaders of the troublemakers hired from abroad” should not be taken into account. “The judiciary should treat them the same way they treat rapists and criminals,” Alghassimehr said, according to the Tasnim news agency.
Since the government and judiciary describe all the demonstrators as mercenaries hired from abroad, observers expect long prison sentences. The special courts are said to include the Revolutionary Court, which deals with national security violations and is notorious for its harsh sentences.
The trigger for the nine-day protests critical of the regime in Iran is the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She had been arrested by the Morality Police for violating the strict Islamic dress code and died on September 16 under unclear circumstances. According to the authorities, more than 1,200 people have been arrested by the moral police so far. At the weekend, too, thousands of people took to the streets against the Islamic system of rule and the systematic discrimination against women. According to the authorities, 739 people were arrested on Saturday alone.
Internet massively impaired
However, a massive internet lockdown has severely hampered the dissemination of information about the protests in the country. For example, protesters can post fewer videos and information on social media. However, eyewitnesses reported that people had protested against the Iranian leadership in various parts of the capital Tehran on Monday night. Eyewitnesses also reported that the police blocked some main roads in Tehran to prevent the protests from spreading. The local press either does not report the protests at all, or simply reflects the government’s position.
According to the journalists’ association, several Iranian reporters were either arrested or feared with legal consequences for their critical reporting on the protests. For Iranians, therefore, only social media and Persian-language news channels abroad are news sources. But the massive limitations of the internet have also made accessing these sources significantly more difficult.
During her visit to the UN General Assembly last week, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock declared that Germany would bring the Amini case before the UN Human Rights Council. If women are not safe, then no society in this world is safe, the Green politician said. “That’s why the brutal attack on the courageous women in Iran is also an attack on humanity.” The Amini case is a breach of women’s rights and thus a violation of human rights by Iran.