Indiana Daily Student

52 killed in Iran during protests sparked by woman's death, Amnesty International says

A picture obtained by AFP on Sept. 21, 2022, outside Iran shows Iranian demonstrators taking to the streets of the capital Tehran during a protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody.
A picture obtained by AFP on Sept. 21, 2022, outside Iran shows Iranian demonstrators taking to the streets of the capital Tehran during a protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody.

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Fifty-two people have died in clashes with security forces during recent anti-government protests in Iran, according to human rights organization Amnesty International.

Hundreds more were injured, Amnesty said Friday. Iranian state media had previously reported more than 40 deaths, but the number of dead is widely thought to be higher. The government had also said that members of the security forces were killed.

Iran is clamping down on nationwide protests in the wake of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for violating the country's strict dress code for women.

Mahsa Amini died Sept. 16 and the cause of her death remains unknown.

There have been more arrests in connection with the anti-government protests.

According to media reports Friday, a well-known soccer player was arrested in addition to demonstrators and artists.

Hossein Mahini, a 36-year-old former defender, was arrested for his support for the ongoing protests, the sports portal "khabarvarzeshi" reported.

Meanwhile, Iranian cleric Mohammed-Javad Hajjali-Akbari said at Friday prayers in Tehran that the people were calling for the death penalty for "troublemakers."

Related: [Iran's president dismisses criticism as street protests over women's rights turn deadly]

Several players from the current Iran national team, including Sardar Azmoun from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, have also expressed their solidarity with the ongoing protests in the country.

Critics accuse the morality police of brutality. The police deny the accusations and the Interior Ministry has said they were not to blame, claiming she died of heart failure at the police station.

Since her death, hundreds of thousands of people have been demonstrating across the country. Witnesses in the capital have said both security forces and protesters have become increasingly violent.

In response, the government has severely restricted internet access, making it difficult to establish what is happening on the ground.

"Amnesty International has the names of 52 women, men and children who were killed by the state security forces," the organization said.

Amnesty also has a copy of a leaked document that shows that on Sept. 21, the armed forces' general headquarters had already instructed commanders in all provinces to take tough action on demonstrators.

The order described them as "troublemakers and opponents of the revolution." The order proves that the escalation of violence and the use of live ammunition is systematic and a deliberate strategy of the Iranian leadership, Amnesty said.

Thousands have been demonstrating across the country against the government's repressive course and the Islamic system.
Amnesty said: "The international community must act immediately and decisively to prevent more people from being killed and injured simply for taking to the streets for their freedom, dignity and human rights."

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