AT least 100 protesters have been killed and thousands wounded during mass protests in Iran, an opposition group has claimed.
The Islamic Republic has been plunged into chaos after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was allegedly beaten, arrested and left in a coma by the regime’s morality police – The Guidance Patrol – for not following the country’s strict hijab laws.
Violence has swept Iran after a young woman was killed by police for not wearing a hijab[/caption]
Opposition groups claims at least 100 have been killed during protests[/caption]
According to the latest information of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), at least 100 protesters have been killed, hundreds wounded, and thousands arrested, including 1,800 in Tehran alone.
There have been protests in 133 cities in all 31 provinces.
This information was circulated by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is the principal member. The official toll is yet to be released.
Mahsa’s death sparked a wave of protests against the country’s strict laws which have been viciously cracked down upon by Tehran.
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Demonstrators have clashed with police, hurling rocks and bottles, as well as setting fires in a number of cities of five days of protest.
Some women, meanwhile, have torn off their hijabs and thrown the legally-required garment onto bonfires.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard have vowed an even harsher crackdown on the protesters which are being backed by women’s rights figures worldwide.
Iran is claimed to have deployed an elite unit of all-female commando cops in a bid to bust the protests – with many demonstrators shouting “death to the dictator”.
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A video shot during the funeral of Mohsen Qeysari, a 32-year-old protestor from Ilam who was killed during the protest, showed people vowing to avenge his blood.
Wednesday’s footage showed people chanting, “I will kill the ones who killed my brother”.
In a statement to The Sun, Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman of the MEK, based in Paris said:
“People from all walks of life have risen for freedom across Iran, in the capital, and from West to East, and North to South.
“Throughout Iran the cries of “[Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei will be overthrown this month,” and “the regime is the main target” have shaken the pillars of the mullahs’ regime.
“Women, in particular, young women are taking the lead and their high fighting spirit who in step with freedom-loving youths and men drive back the IRGC mercenaries with chants of “Death to Khamenei,” is the promise of a democratically elected republic based on gender equality and national sovereignty.”
Commenting on the ongoing protests despite the alleged heavy death toll, Gobadi said: “It is very telling that despite brutal suppression, the regime has failed to quash the protests.”
The MEK spokesman highlighted that the Iranian regime has turned to Internet shutdown and blocking social media in a bid to prevent the spread of Iran protests via news channels.
“The world must condemn this cruel censorship and provide free access. The world should be on the side of the Iranian people. It should impose serious sanctions on the regime and its leaders and should hold them accountable.”
In a sermon on Friday, meanwhile, Tehran prayer leader Kazem Sadighi alleged protesters were “unveiling Muslim women and torching the Quran” and called on the country’s courts to punish “the leaders of the riots” who he described as murderers.
Sadighi’s claims have not been substantiated, and no reports have so far emerged of protesters burning the holy book.
This comes as Iran’s state TV broadcast footage of pro-government rallies in the capital and several other cities.
Footage posted on Twitter appeared to show a group of pro-government supporters walking down Enghelab (Revolution) Avenue in central Tehran.
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Officers of the Guidance Patrol, who enforce the clothing rules, claimed Mahsa went into sudden heart failure at the police station and died on 16 September after two days in a coma.
However, eyewitnesses alleged she was beaten by cops and had her head slammed into the side of a police car.
Protesters have been accused of “unveiling Muslim women and torching the Quran”[/caption]