Over 100 protesters killed by Iranian forces amid continued unrest: Amnesty International
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Human rights organization Amnesty International on Tuesday reported that upwards of 106 Iranian protesters have been killed, with local groups reporting at least double that amount as nationwide unrest continues.
“At least 106 protesters in 21 cities have been killed in #Iran,” Amnesty International said in a tweet, citing reports it had received. “Verified video footage, eyewitness testimony and information gathered from activists outside Iran reveal a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings by Iranian security forces.”
Local human rights groups have estimated at least double the amount in the first four days of the unrest alone. Protests began on Friday after Tehran passed a new regulation on subsidized gasoline, effectively tripling its price. Although limited at the start, demonstrations quickly spread to other parts of the country, including its Kurdish region to the west.
The elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened on Monday to take a “decisive” response if demonstrations continued. The unrest has reportedly continued on Tuesday.
Iranian authorities have also effectively shut down access to the internet, limiting the communication abilities of protesters with the outside world and media outlets. Local independent press and organizations, though small in numbers, have nevertheless actively reported on the killings, utilizing local sources.
The Iran Human Rights Monitor reported on Tuesday that the number of deaths had “exceeded 220” over the previous four days. It claimed security forces were targeting civilians' heads and chests with live rounds. It also claimed the authorities were transporting the dead and burying them in undisclosed locations.
The rights group also reported the violent crackdown had also wounded 3,000 other demonstrators. Semi-official Fars news has said security forces had arrested close to 1,000 people.
Rupert Colville, UN human rights spokesman, on Tuesday, voiced concerns about the extreme violence committed during the protests and asserted that the extent of casualties was “clearly very serious.”
According to local organizations reporting on human rights breaches in the Kurdish regions of the country, so far, there have been at least 45 deaths as a result of direct gunfire by the security forces. Hengaw, one such group, has logged the names of 20 of the victims.
Editing by Nadia Riva