Iran first admits killing of "rioters" during wave of demonstrations
State television divided the fatalities into four categories, without naming an official number. Some were bystanders and protesters, but were not told who was responsible for their killings. "The security forces have taken action to save the lives of the residents," the demonstrations said in a city where an Arab minority is severely depressed. Amnesty: At least 208 were killed
Iran first admits killing of "rioters" during wave of demonstrationsPhoto: Reuters, edited by Nir Chen
State TV in Iran admitted Tuesday that security forces have shot at "rioters" and killed them in many cities during the recent protests that erupted due to rising gas prices. This is the first time that authorities have expressed a kind of accountability for violence taken to suppress the protests. The announcement was made during a review criticizing reports on international languages in the Persian language about the November 15 crisis.
According to the latest human rights organization Amnesty International, at least 208 people have been killed in their protests and repression. Iran's UN mission today rejected Amnesty's findings, although it did not present evidence supporting its claim. Iran has not yet released detailed data on the unprecedented riots in the Islamic Republic, which disrupted the Internet during the protest to prevent surfers from sharing videos and information, as well as restricting information flowing outside Iran As the network returns, more videos from the violent events have emerged.
"There were more than 200 fatalities in a very short time, in less than a week," said Mansoura Mills, an Iranian investigator at Amnesty. "It's something pretty unprecedented in the history of human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic."
Although the recent wave of protests has not attracted as many Iranians to the streets as after the disputed presidential election in 2009, fuel protests have risen to violence faster than previous protests. This is a testament to citizens' frustration with the country's economic situation since May 2018, when US President Donald Trump imposed painful sanctions on Tehran after unilaterally retiring from the nuclear agreement.
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Gas station damaged by protest against rising gas prices (Photo: AP)
A petrol station in Iran protests against rising gas prices, November 20, 2019 (Photo: AP)
State TV reports divided fatalities into four categories: some were "rioters who attacked sensitive or military sites using weapons or knives, or seized hostages in certain areas." Among the other fatalities were bystanders, security forces and peaceful protesters, but no one was responsible for their killing.
In one case, serious clashes were reported between security forces and a separatist group in the city of Maharashar, which was armed with "semi-heavy weapons." "Under these circumstances, the security forces have taken action to save the lives of Maharashar people," the official TV report claims.
Mahashar, who lives in the Iranian-backed Khuzestan province in which the Arab minority lives, was violently suppressed by security forces. The population of the rich oil province is claiming to be deprived of Iran's central government, and separatist groups have previously attacked the oil pipelines in the region. Documentation from the area posted on the network showed peaceful protests, as well as clashes between protesters and security forces. According to the New York Times, dozens of protesters escaped to the Revolutionary Guards machine-gun fire field.More in Walla! NEWS More in Walla! NEWS
200,000 protesters, 730 burned banks: Iran reveals scale of protestTo the full article
The clashes also happened in the capital. Demonstration in Tehran, last month (Photo: Reuters)
People stop on highway to watch protest against rising fuel prices in Tehran, Iran, November 16, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
State television also mentioned clashes with "rioters" in Tehran, as well as in the cities of Shiraz and Sirjan. She also cited Shahriar, a suburb of Tehran, where, according to Amnesty, there were dozens of dead and one of the biggest killers in Iran. Shachar received heavy demonstrations. Amnesty did not elaborate on the latest victims count by city breakdown.
"There is a general atmosphere of fear within Iran right now," said Mills, the Amnesty researcher. She said: "Authorities threatened families, some of whom had to ensure they did not speak to the media. Families had to bury their loved ones in the dead of night under heavy security presence.