Home » Iran protests: Authorities charge 1,000 people over Tehran unrest

Iran protests: Authorities charge 1,000 people over Tehran unrest

by Mahmmod Shar

By David Gritten

About 1,000 people in Tehran have been charged in connection with the anti-government protests that have engulfed Iran, the city’s chief prosecutor says.

Suspects accused of “acts of sabotage”, including murdering security guards and arson, face open mass trials this week.

Authorities have not said how many have been arrested nationwide, but rights activists have put the total at 14,000.

The announcement came as two teenage protesters allegedly killed by security forces were buried in north-east Iran.

Kumar Daroftateh, 16, was shot at close range at a demonstration in the city of Piranshahr and died in hospital on Sunday night, according to Kurdish human rights group Hengaw.

At his funeral on Monday, mourners shouted slogans against the government.

Image caption,Kurdish activists said Kumar Daroftateh, 16, was shot by security forces at a protest in Piranshahr

Another crowd gathered at the grave of 16-year-old Sarina Saedi in the southern city of Sanandaj.

According to Kasra Naji of the BBC, she was struck by birdshot fired by security forces during a protest a few days ago, and witnesses saw her fall to the ground.

However, our correspondent continues, in order to exonerate security personnel from responsibility, Sarina’s father was compelled to declare on television that her death was the result of a suicide.

According to Iran’s Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), security forces have killed 284 people, including 45 children, during the crackdown on protests that started after a woman was killed in police custody after being accused of wearing her hijab “improperly.”

It also claims that 35 security personnel have died.

Authorities have portrayed the protests as “riots” fomented by Iran’s foreign enemies and warned that those who take part will face severe punishment.

Iran’s judiciary chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, vowed on Monday that judges would “deal with the cases of the recent riots with accuracy and speed”.

“Those who intend to confront and subvert the regime are dependent on foreigners and will be punished according to legal standards,” the Associated Press cited him as saying.

On Saturday, a Revolutionary Court in Tehran began trying five people on charges that carry the death penalty, state news agency Irna reported.

They included one man accused of “corruption on Earth” for allegedly hitting and killing a police officer with his car, it said. Another man who allegedly attacked police with a knife and set a government building on fire faced the charge of “enmity against God”, it added.

Image caption,IRGC commander Maj Gen Hossein Salami warned people to stop protesting on Saturday

The protests have continued despite the threat of prosecution and an ultimatum from the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), a powerful military force tasked with defending the country’s Islamic system.

“Today is the last day of the riots,” Maj-Gen Hossein Salami declared in a speech on Saturday. “Do not come to the streets anymore.”

Defiant students were filmed protesting at more than a dozen universities across the country the following day.

Video appeared to show armed personnel in plainclothes attacking a crowd with tear gas and sticks at a branch of Azad University in Tehran.

Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been arrested by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly breaking Iran’s strict laws requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf, and who had since fallen into a coma, died on September 16 as a result of her injuries. Mahsa’s arrest was a catalyst for the unrest.

According to reports, police struck her head against a car’s side and beat it with a baton. The police claimed she had a heart attack while denying mistreating her.

After Ms. Amini’s funeral, women tore off their headscarves in solidarity, sparking the first protests.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, they have grown into one of the most significant threats to the clerical establishment.


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