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Iran pledges ‘decisive action’ as Mahsa Amini protests proceed

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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has pledged to deal “decisively” with the protests which have swept the nation for the reason that loss of life of a girl who was detained by the Iranian morality police.

Raisi’s feedback on Saturday got here as protesters took to the streets for a ninth consecutive evening, defying a crackdown by which a minimum of 41 folks have been killed, in accordance with state tv. It stated the toll was based mostly by itself rely and official figures have been but to be launched.

Hundreds of individuals have additionally been arrested, with protests reported in many of the nation’s 31 provinces.

State media stated Raisi on Saturday spoke to a relative of the Basij paramilitary member who had been killed whereas collaborating in a crackdown within the northeastern metropolis of Mashhad. It quoted the president as saying that Iran should “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity”.

The president “stressed the necessity to distinguish between protest and disturbing public order and security, and called the events … a riot,” state media reported.

The protests broke out in northwestern Iran per week in the past on the funeral of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish girl who died after falling right into a coma following her detention in Tehran by morality police implementing hijab rules on girls’s costume.

Her loss of life has reignited anger over points together with restrictions on private freedoms in Iran, the strict costume codes for ladies, and an economic system reeling from sanctions.

Women have performed a distinguished position within the protests, waving and burning their veils. Some have publicly minimize their hair as livid crowds referred to as for the autumn of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The protests have been the biggest to brush Iran since demonstrations over gasoline costs in 2019 when the Reuters information company reported 1,500 folks have been killed in a crackdown on protesters – the bloodiest confrontation within the nation’s historical past.

On Friday, state-organised rallies happened in a number of Iranian cities to counter the anti-government protests, and the military promised to confront “the enemies” behind the unrest.

State tv in Iran, which has accused armed exiled Iranian Kurdish dissidents of involvement within the unrest, stated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had fired artillery on bases of Kurdish opposition teams within the Kurdish area of northern Iraq.

‘Spiralling deadly response’

At least 3 times this week, cell web has been disrupted in Iran, the NetBlocks watchdog has reported. Activists say the move is meant to stop video footage of the violence from reaching the world.

On Saturday NetBlocks stated Microsoft’s Skype video calling app was now restricted, the most recent such measure after platforms together with Instagram, WhatsApp and LinkedIn have been focused.

In an effort to assist maintain web connection, the United States is making exceptions to its sanctions regime on Iran – a move Tehran stated on Saturday was in keeping with Washington’s hostile stance.

Rights group Amnesty International stated protesters face a “spiralling deadly response from security forces” and referred to as for an impartial United Nations investigation.

On the evening of September 21, shootings by safety forces left a minimum of 19 folks useless, together with three youngsters, it stated.

“The rising death toll is an alarming indication of just how ruthless the authorities’ assault on human life has been under the darkness of the internet shutdown,” Amnesty stated.

State tv confirmed footage purporting to indicate calm had returned to many components of the capital Tehran late on Friday.

“But in some western and northern areas of Tehran and certain provinces, rioters destroyed public property,” it stated, carrying footage of protesters setting hearth to garbage bins and a automotive, marching, and throwing rocks.

The activist Twitter account 1500tasvir carried movies of protests in Tehran’s western district of Sattarkhan displaying protesters gathered at a sq. chanting: “Don’t be afraid, we are all in this together,” late on Saturday with a bike apparently belonging to riot police burning within the background.

Another video, purportedly from Saturday night, confirmed a girl defiantly swinging her headband above her head as she walked in the midst of a Tehran avenue.

Protests additionally happened within the northern metropolis of Babol in Mazandaran province, in accordance with footage on social media, with youths making an attempt to tear down portraits of Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founding father of the Islamic Republic of Iran, from a college’s gate whereas bystanders cheered them on and shouted: “Death to the dictator.”

Protests additionally reportedly proceed within the metropolis of Rasht in Gilan province, the place the police chief has introduced the “arrest of 739 rioters, including 60 women” in that province alone. Other movies confirmed crows gathering in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province, late on Saturday, regardless of a heavy police presence.

The movies couldn’t be verified independently.

Demonstrators additionally took to the streets of cities in Iraq, Germany, Greece, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the US on Saturday to specific solidarity with Iranian protesters.

In Iraq, dozens of Iraqi and Iranian Kurds rallied exterior the UN compound within the northern metropolis of Erbil, carrying placards with Amini’s {photograph} and chanting: “Death to the dictator,” referring to Khamenei.

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