President Ebrahim Raisi has called for decisive action against mass Protests In Iran following the death of a young woman.
The President said that authorities should “decisively deal” with protests that have erupted across the country after the death of a young Kurdish woman in police custody.
After many years, such large-scale protests are taking place in Iran. The protests erupted last week at the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whom protesters say was killed by Iran’s morality police, which enforces hijab laws on women.
Raisi said Iran should deal decisively with “those involved in activities against national security and peace.”
According to Iran’s official news agency IRNA, Raisi said this while talking to the family of an official whom protesters allegedly killed.
Raisi, on his return from attending a United Nations meeting in New York, stressed the importance of ‘general’ protests. But also said that ‘riots’ cannot be allowed.
How Has Iran Reacted To The Protests So Far?
Most of the recent protests have been led by Iranian women, but they also have the support of men.
Protesters accused domestic police of torturing Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the hijab law, leading to her death.
The government restricted access to the internet after hundreds of thousands of people protested in several cities and organized demonstrations in support of the government.
Despite the ban on the internet, videos of the protests continued to appear on social media. These showed a number of the country’s main highways set on fire and young women taking off their hijabs.
Iran has claimed that foreign enemies and Iranian exile groups are behind the protests. Official sources have said 35 people have been killed in the protests, but human rights activists say the number is at least 50.
Earlier in 2019, there were large-scale protests as well. The government severely suppressed the protests, in which approximately 1,500 people were killed.
The Iranian news agency reported that 739 protesters were arrested in the northern province of Gilani alone.
The Federal Minister Rejected The Responsibility Of The Police
Authorities further enraged protesters by claiming that Amini did not die due to police violence.
Interior Minister Ahmed Wahidi said the post-mortem found no evidence that the police were responsible for the death.
State media quoted him as saying that a medical examination and an examination by the forensic department showed that Amini was not tortured and did not suffer a fractured skull.
Amini’s father rejected the government’s claims. He said Amini did not have a heart condition and, therefore, could not have died of a heart attack.
Violent Protests In Iran, Death Toll Rises To 35
In response to the violent anti-government protests, a series of pro-government protests have also begun in Iran.
On Friday, thousands of people took out a rally in the capital of Iran and shouted slogans in favor of the government.
The protesters were holding up Iranian flags. Similar demonstrations took place in other cities of Iran.
The Iranian authorities claim that these demonstrations were not formally organized. But that citizens organized them on their own.
According to official media, pro-government protesters chanted slogans against the US and Israel.
According to experts, the government’s position is being supported by these demonstrations that Iran’s enemy countries have benefited from Mehsa Amini’s case.
Clashes Between Protesters And Security Forces
Experts are comparing the recent protests to nationwide protests in 2019. In those days hundreds of people died in violent protests over rising oil prices.
Apart from suspending internet services in some places in Iran, Instagram and WhatsApp services have also been restricted to prevent people-to-people communication in view of the protests.
In response, the US Treasury Department has asked US technology companies to expand their business to provide internet services to Iranian citizens, despite sanctions on Iran.
Iran’s state TV reported that 35 people, including police officers, had been killed in protests after Mehsa Amini’s funeral on Sunday.
Mesa Amini, 22, was arrested last week by the Moral Police (Gasht-e-Irshad) in Tehran, the capital of Iran, for not wearing the hijab properly.
She was later shifted to the hospital in an unconscious state, where she died on Friday. The cause of Mehsa Amini’s death is not yet clear.
Protesters alleged that Mehsa was severely tortured during detention and died due to a heavy blow on the head.
However, the Iranian authorities have denied this allegation. Many countries, including the United States, the United Nations, and France, have condemned the death of Mahsa Amini and the Iranian government’s response to the protests.
Women are also at the forefront of the protests, and some women are expressing their anger by burning their hijabs and dupattas.
Some women have posted videos of themselves cutting their hair on social media in protest.