Iranian police vow to address Mahsa Amini’s protests with ‘all done’

Iranian police warned on Wednesday that they will face “with all their might” the women-led protests that erupted nearly two weeks ago over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, despite growing calls for a crackdown.

Thousands of people have been killed since protests erupted when the 22-year-old Kurdish woman died after being arrested in Tehran for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict rules on hijab headscarves and modest clothing.

Widespread protests were held for a 12th straight night on Tuesday, according to opposition media based outside Iran, despite internet restrictions designed to block rallies and prevent images of the crackdown from getting out. .

Women have burned their headscarves and cut their hair symbolically in protest against Amini’s death and the strict dress code, in solidarity rallies from New York to Istanbul.

Riot police in black body armor are seen shooting up the windows of apartments in Tehran’s Ekbatan Town, in footage shared overnight by Radio Farda – a US-funded Persian station based in Prague.

“Today, the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and some rioters are trying to disrupt the order, security and comfort of the nation using any reason,” said the police order, quoted by the Fars news agency.

“Police officers will oppose the conspiracies of counter-revolutionaries and hostile elements, and will deal firmly with those who disturb public order and security anywhere in the country.”

The statement came just an hour after the United Nations said its secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, had asked Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi not to use “disproportionate force” against protesters.

In a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly last week, Guterres “stressed to President Raisi the need to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association,” a chief spokesman said of the United Nations.

“We are increasingly worried about reports that there is an increase in the number of deaths, including women and children, related to the protests,” said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

He said Guterres calls on the security forces to refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force and appeals to everyone to exercise restraint to avoid further escalation.”

– ‘Blow to the head’ –

Fars news agency said on Tuesday that “around 60” people had been killed since Amini’s death on September 16, up from the official toll of 41 authorities reported on Saturday.

But the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights said at least 76 people were killed in the crackdown.

Officials said on Monday that they had made more than 1,200 arrests, including activists, lawyers and journalists.

Amini’s cousin said she was visiting Tehran with her family when she encountered the notorious morality police and died after a “violent blow to the head”.

Amini, whose Kurdish first name is Jhina, was arrested along with her brother and female relatives after she left an underground station despite being “dressed normally”, said Erfan Salih Mortezaee.

“The police officer (her brother) said, ‘We are going to bring her in, establish the rules in her and teach her how to wear the hijab and how to dress it’,” he told AFP in an autonomous region Kurdistan in Iraq.

“Jhina’s death opened the doors of popular anger,” said Mortezaee, who joined the Iranian Kurdish nationalist group Komala after leaving the Islamic republic a year ago.

– Shah’s son loves ‘women’s revolution’ –

In an interview with AFP, the son of the late Shah of Iran hailed the protests as a significant revolution by women and urged the world to step up the pressure on the clerical leadership.

Reza Pahlavi, whose father was at the helm of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, called for more preparations to be made for a secular and democratic system in Iran in the future.

“It is true in the modern world, in my opinion, the first revolution for women, by women — with the support of Iranian men, sons, brothers and fathers,” said Pahlavi, who lives in exile in an area Washington. .

“It has come to the point, as the Spanish would say, basta — we have enough.”

On Tuesday, authorities in Iran arrested the daughter of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for “inciting riots”, Tasnim news agency reported.

The crackdown drew criticism from around the world.

The US think tank Freedom House called on “other governments to stand with these brave protesters and hold Iranian officials accountable for their abuses”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Iran to “end its use of violence against women to exercise fundamental freedom”.

“We stand with all those who are exercising the universal right to peaceful protest,” he said.

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