Iran’s President vows to take action against protesters after more than a week of anti-govt demonstrations
Iran’s President has vowed to take action against protesters after more than a week of anti-government demonstrations. President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to deal decisively with the protests, which have now spread to most of Iran’s 31 provinces. Officials say some 35 people have been killed since protests broke out over the death of a women in police custody. Mahsa Amini died after being detained for allegedly breaking headscarf rules. Officers reportedly beat Ms. Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles. The police have said there is no evidence of any mistreatment and that she suffered sudden heart failure.
The President said Ms. Amini’s death will be investigated, however, his Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has insisted that she was not beaten.
Amnesty International has warned that evidence it gathered pointed to a harrowing pattern of Iranian security forces deliberately and unlawfully firing live ammunition at protesters.
Mr. Raisi has dismissed the protests as “riots”. Iran, he said, must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity”. Hundreds of people have been detained by security forces.
Government has also launched a crackdown on independent media and activists. The US-based media watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists says 11 journalists have been detained since Monday.
The US says it will ease internet curbs on Iran to counter Tehran’s clampdown on the protests. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged to help make sure the Iranian people are not kept isolated and in the dark.