More than 200 killed in Iran in crackdown on protests, NGO says

More than 200 people have died, including 23 minors, as part of the wave of protests launched in Iran over the death of young Mahsa Amini, who died almost a month ago in police custody after being arrested for improperly wearing the veil.

The Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights (IRH) updated its tally Wednesday to account for 201 fatalities, spread across 18 provinces. In Sistan and Baluchistan alone, 93 people have died, while 28 others have died in Mazandaran.

In Iranian Kurdistan, IRH reports 14 deaths, although it has yet to determine “the extent of the repression” during the protests of recent days, especially in the city of Sanandaj. In this regard, it has denounced cuts in Internet service that complicate the obtaining of information.

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The director of the NGO, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, has urged in a statement the international community to give an “immediate response” to “prevent more deaths in Kurdistan.”

Those arrested in the framework of these protests also number in the hundreds and, although there are no clear balances, the authorities did report a few days ago more than 1,800 people arrested. Human rights organizations estimate that the real figure is higher.

The judicial authorities have reported this Wednesday the indictment of more than a hundred alleged “rioters”. According to the judicial system’s portal, Mizan, some 60 people have been charged in Tehran and another 65 in Hormozgan, although the details of the charges have not been disclosed.

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Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has again made a veiled reference to the latest protests, to again point the finger at the major Western powers, especially the United States, as the alleged instigators of mobilizations in which women are the main protagonists.

According to Khamenei, this is a “clumsy” response by foreign governments to the Islamic Republic’s advances, but he has urged local authorities not to be distracted by what he considers “small incidents.”

He has also called to distinguish between the real masterminds of the protests, “elements of the enemy,” and the population that would have been “provoked” to join, according to a speech picked up by the state television network.

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