Achi News Updates,
Paris (AFP) – At least 36 people have been killed in Iran’s crackdown on protests over the killing of Kurdish woman Mahza Amini in police custody, a New York-based rights group said.
Amini, 22, died last week after being arrested by the Islamic Republic’s feared morality police for “improperly” wearing a hijab headscarf, and news of her death sparked widespread outrage.
The official death toll rose to at least 17 on Thursday, including five security personnel, but the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said its sources put the number much higher.
“On 7th day of #IranProtest, authorities admit at least 17 deaths / independent sources say 36,” CHRI said in a Twitter post late Thursday.
“Expect the toll to rise. World leaders must pressure Iranian authorities to allow protests without lethal force.”
Since Amini’s death was announced on September 16, three days after his arrest in Tehran by Iran’s morality police, protests have spread to Iran’s capital and most major urban centers, including Isfahan, Mashad, Rasht and Saghez.
“According to videos shared on social media, the government has responded with live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas, showing protesters bleeding profusely,” CHRI said in a statement.
Unprecedented images show protesters defacing or burning effigies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and late Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani.
In response, security forces fired bird bombs and metal pellets at people, and deployed tear gas and water cannons, according to Amnesty International and other human rights groups.
Demonstrators threw stones at them, set fire to police cars and shouted anti-government slogans, the official IRNA news agency reported.