Iran’s Revolutionary Guards issue warning as protests over woman’s death spread

  • Revolutionary Guard warns of unrest
  • Reports of attacks on security forces
  • Kurdish woman dies after being detained by ethics police
  • Iranian government has pledged to investigate her death

DUBAI, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards called on the judiciary on Thursday to prosecute “those who spread false news and rumors” in an apparent attempt to quell nationwide protests over the death of a young woman Activity. Police custody.

Protesters in Tehran and other Iranian cities torched police stations and vehicles earlier on Thursday, as public anger over the deaths showed no sign of abating, amid reports of attacks on security forces.

Mahsa Amini, 22, died last week after being arrested in Tehran for wearing “inappropriate clothing”. She fell into a coma while in custody. Authorities said they would launch an investigation into her death.

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In a statement, the guards expressed sympathy for Amini’s family and relatives.

“We have asked the judiciary to identify those who spread false news and rumours on social media and on the streets, jeopardizing the psychological safety of society, and deal decisively,” the Guardsmen, which cracked down on the protests, said.

Iranian media said pro-government protests were planned for Friday.

“The will of the Iranian people is: Do not let the criminals go,” said an editorial in the influential hardline Kehan ​​newspaper.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police on Thursday, accusing them of abusing and violently targeting Iranian women and violating the rights of peaceful protesters in Iran, the U.S. Treasury said.

The finance ministry also said it had imposed sanctions on the heads of the Iranian Army’s ground forces and ethics police, as well as Iran’s intelligence minister. It said it held the ethics police responsible for Amini’s death.

The protests over Amini’s death were the largest in Iran since 2019. Most were concentrated in the northwest where Iran’s Kurds live, but it has spread to the capital and at least 50 towns across the country, where police used force to disperse protesters. Amini is from Kurdistan province.

Internet monitoring group Netblocks wrote on Twitter that new mobile internet outages have occurred in the country, which may indicate that authorities are concerned that the protests will intensify.

A group of UN experts, including the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, have demanded responsibility for Amini’s death.

“(Amini) is another victim of Iran’s ongoing repression and systemic discrimination against women and the imposition of discriminatory dress codes that deprive women of their physical autonomy and opinions, expressions and beliefs,” the experts said in a statement. free.”

A member of Iran’s pro-government paramilitary group Basij was stabbed to death on Wednesday in the northeastern city of Mashhad, two semi-official Iranian news agencies reported on Thursday.

The Tasnim and Fars news organizations’ reports of the stabbing appeared on Telegram as their websites were both down on Thursday. There is no official confirmation of death.

Tasnim also said another Basquiat member was shot and killed by “thugs and gangs” in Qazvin city on Wednesday.

Nour news, a media outlet affiliated with the top security agency, shared a video showing an officer confirming the death of a soldier in the riot, bringing the total number of members of the security forces reported to have been killed in the riot to five.

An official in Mazandaran said 76 members of the security forces were injured in the province during the unrest, while the Kurdistan police commander announced more than 100 security forces were injured.

A video posted on the Twitter account 1500tasvir showed protesters in the northeast chanting “We will die, we will die, but we will bring Iran back” near a police station that was set on fire. The account focuses on protests in Iran and has around 100,000 followers.

Reuters could not verify the footage.

Another police station in Tehran, where Amini was buried on Saturday, was set on fire as unrest spread from Kurdistan.

individual freedom

Amini’s death has reignited anger over restrictions on Iran’s personal freedoms – including strict dress codes for women – and an economy teetering from sanctions.

Iran’s civilian rulers fear a resurgence of protests in 2019 over rising gasoline prices, the bloodiest in the Islamic Republic’s history. Reuters reported that 1,500 people were killed.

Protesters also expressed anger at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this week. “Mojtaba, may you die and not become supreme leader,” a crowd was seen in Tehran chanting Khamenei’s son, whom some believe could succeed his father at the top of Iran’s political establishment.

Reuters could not verify the video.

A report by Kurdish human rights group Hengaw, which Reuters could not confirm, said the death toll in the Kurdish region had climbed to 15 and the injured to 733. Iranian officials have denied security forces killed protesters, suggesting they may have been shot at dissidents.

Authorities have restricted access to the internet as the protests show no signs of abating, according to Hengaw, residents and Internet shutdown observatory NetBlocks.

Women played a major role in the protests, waving and burning their veils and some cutting their hair in public.

In northern Iran, crowds cheered as they attacked two members of the security forces on motorcycles with batons and stones, according to footage that Reuters could not verify.

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Reporting from the Dubai office; Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington: Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Raissa Kasolowsky

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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