Iran govt terms protestors “anarchists”, vows to act strictly

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Iran’s legislative, administrative, and judicial high-ups on Saturday called for speeding up the investigation and persecution of elements they described as “rioters and anarchists” in the wake of recent ongoing protests.

Iranian news agency IRNA reported that the country’s President Ebrahim Raisi, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and Judiciary Chief Mohseni Ejei in a meeting stressed the need to be vigilant to counter “split plots”.

On the other hand, on Saturday, the director of the Iranian Human Rights Organization, Mahmoud Amiri Moghadam, announced that the number of people killed in the protests in the country has exceeded 304. Moghadam said on his Twitter account that 41 children and 24 women have been killed since the beginning of the protests last September. He said that at least 16 protesters have been killed in Sistan and Baluchistan province on Friday.

The TV channel Iran International also reported with reference to Maulvi Abdul Hamid Baloch, a Sunni clerk in Western Balochistan that 16 people were killed in the demonstrations in the southeastern city of Khaash on Friday.

Iran has been witnessing protests in different parts of the country for several weeks following the killing of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, on September 16. On Saturday, the Iran International news agency revealed the deteriorating situation in the city of Khaash in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan and reported that the number of people killed by Iranian security forces there has risen to sixteen. 

The local population of Saravan, Zahedan, and Khaash cities of Sistan-Balochistan carried out protest rallies after performing Friday prayers. Protesters in Zahedan chanted “Death to the Revolutionary Guards,” and “Death to Khamenei.”In Khaash, Iranian security forces reportedly opened fire on protesters from the roof of the mayor’s office building when they were gathering in front of the building to record their protest.

In the video clips of the protests in Khaash city, it can be seen that the security forces are firing heavily on the protesters in the streets. 

Meanwhile, some Iranian journalists claimed that they have received death threats. The American “ABC News” network quoted Iranian journalists on Saturday as saying they had received death threats from Iranian authorities over their coverage of recent protests. The names of these journalists were not disclosed by the news network. Journalists have said they fear Iranian authorities are monitoring their online activities.

In late October, Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned Iran’s efforts to silence foreign media after the Iranian government banned media from countries such as France, Germany, and the UK. According to the organization, Iran has become the third largest country in terms of the number of detained journalists in the world. Currently, 43 journalists are under detention in Tehran alone, reports said.


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