Iran's Street on The Boil With 26 Killed But No Let up in Protests

Published September 24th, 2022 - 06:22 GMT
Protests in Tehran
A picture obtained by AFP outside Iran on September 21, 2022, shows Iranian demonstrators burning a rubbish bin in the capital Tehran during a protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody. (AFP)

ALBAWABA - Acute tensions in Iran are not stopping over the death of Mahsa Amini who died last Friday whilst in police custody. It has been one week and yet the street continues to be on the boil.

Since then the whole country has literally been up-in-arms with protests and demonstrations erupting in more than 80 towns and cities across Iran, including its capital Tehran. With that came deadly violence and the death toll creeping up. Today there are bleak reminders of 2019 when more than 1500 had been killed in protests.

Today the Iranian state TV suggests the death toll from the reached at least 26. "Unfortunately, 26 people, including members of the police, lost their lives during the events," an anchor on state television announced in a live broadcast, without providing further details as reported in Anadolu.

The country has erupted in protests and even clashes between demonstrators and security forces where at least one officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards was reported killed last week.  Protests erupted after Amini was taken into custody by the country's 'morality police' and died from what many report from constant beatings on the head, although the authorities deny that. 

The social media have been rife in covering the news to the extent that Iran's government on Friday blocked access to the Internet and messaging apps as reported by UPI. The US news agency added that Cloudflare said Friday mobile networks had suffered a "full shutdown" on the heels of a nationwide blackout on Wednesday. Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram were also affected.

Bloomberg, quoting an unnamed Tehran resident, reported mobile Internet had been blocked for the last few days and Wi-Fi has been severely cut or restricted, though access appeared to be improving slightly. Many virtual private networks, or VPNs -- which hide a user's location and can be deployed to look at sites that are banned based on geography -- are blocked, as is Google, UPI added. 

Amini’s death was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, said Azadeh Khan, a professor of political science and Iran specialist at the University of Paris VII Diderot. “Many of the young people taking part in these protests are unemployed; women are among those hardest hit by poverty. It’s really like Iranians can’t breathe at the moment. The economic crisis has hit them hard and they can’t stand being ordered around,” according to the AFP.

Police deny mistreating Amini, saying she died of a heart attack, but her family said she had no pre-existing heart condition. Authorities have promised a thorough investigation into Amini’s death Anadolu adds but reports the incident has drawn condemnation from many world leaders and human rights groups, including the US, which has sanctioned Iran's morality police in response to the "abuse and violence against Iranian women and the violation of the rights of peaceful Iranian protestors."

 


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