ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – At least five people arrested during the recent country-wide anti-government protests in Iran died while in police custody, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
Last week, Iran deployed their Revolutionary Guard forces to provinces around the country to crackdown on protests following six days of country-wide demonstrations which left over 20 people dead and hundreds more arrested.
The protests began in late December and quickly spread to cities across the country as demonstrators called on the government to recognize their concerns.
The IRGC blamed the protests on the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia as demonstrators criticized high unemployment, income inequality, and corruption within the Iranian government.
Amnesty International called on Tehran to begin an investigation into the deaths of those who were in police custody following the crackdown on rallies in the country.
“The shroud of secrecy and lack of transparency over what happened to these detainees is alarming,” Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.
“The authorities must immediately launch an independent, impartial, and transparent investigation, including independent autopsies,” she added.
According to Mughrabi, Iranian authorities claimed some of those who died while in detention had committed suicide while activists argue that is a lie.
“We have long documented the nightmarish conditions in detention facilities in Iran, including the use of torture,” the Amnesty deputy director noted.
She insisted that those who are “suspected of having any responsibility for these deaths should be suspended from their positions and prosecuted.”
Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill supporting the protests in Iran.
By an overwhelming majority of 415 to 2, the House approved legislation “supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression” and “condemning the Iranian regime.”