Iran records violent night with at least 15 deaths in Mahsa Amini protests


Immersed in a wave of protests, Iran recorded this Wednesday (16) one of the most violent moments of confrontation between security agents and civilians. The Guardian newspaper reports that at least 15 people died in different parts of the country.

In Izeh, to the south, at least seven people were killed, including a 9-year-old boy, after a clash at a market in the city. The regime claims that two men, which it describes as terrorists, fired at security forces, who then fired back.

Protesters, however, attribute the deaths to the Basij militia, a paramilitary wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, controlled by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The militia has been active in cracking down on dissent in the Middle Eastern country.

According to state-linked news agencies, another five people were killed in the Isfahan area in a separate episode, and there are more reports of deaths in the northwest region of Kurdistan, which brought the death toll to at least 15.

Demonstrations and regime repression have intensified since Tuesday (15), when protest organizers called for three days of action to celebrate the anniversary of the November 2019 acts, the last major wave of pressure against the Iranian theocratic regime, motivated by the rise of fuel prices.

Reports and videos published on social networks throughout Wednesday show scenes of police repression in subway stations in Tehran. In one, police officers are seen shooting and beating women inside trains, but the footage could not be independently confirmed.

The current wave of protests began after the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September. Visiting Tehran with her family, she was detained by the so-called morality police for allegedly failing to wear the Islamic headscarf correctly. Amini died after being taken to the police station.

The regime claims that her death was due to the young woman’s heart problems, a version that the family and activists have contested ever since.

The country’s foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, accused Israel, the country with which Iran is technically at war, and intelligence services from Western countries – without specifying which ones – of conspiring to start a civil war in the country.

“Enemies aim to destroy Iranian integrity and identity, but they should know that Iran is not like Libya or Sudan,” he wrote on Twitter this Thursday, referring to Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir, deposed in 2019 after three decades in power, and the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, killed in 2011.

Iran has invested in judicial harassment of protesters and has so far sentenced five people to death for participating in the protests.

According to the NGO Amnesty International, Iran’s so-called Revolutionary Courts are seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people. “This is aimed at further repressing the popular uprising that shook the country and instilling fear among the public,” he said in a statement.

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