Iran anti-hijab protests: Death toll climbs to at least 92; top Iranian official warns of 'destabilisation'

Reports indicated that a large number of students at Sharif university in Tehran have been trapped in the campus car park. Videos on social media appear to show students running away from security forces, with apparent gun shots fired

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, October 03, 2022, 11:50 AM IST
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Posts on social media showed there were scattered anti-government protests in Tehran and running clashes with security forces in other towns Sunday | Twitter/@amsafavi

As protests in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the notorious morality police continued for a third straight week, a report by the Iran Human Rights group on Sunday claimed that the death toll has risen to at least 92 as Iranian authorities continue their brutal crackdown on protesters.

In addition, reports indicated that a large number of students at Sharif university in Tehran have been trapped in the campus car park. Videos on social media appear to show students running away from security forces, with apparent gun shots fired.

The protests were triggered immediately following the arrest of Amini by the Iranian morality police, allegedly for violating the country's strict modesty laws by not wearing a hijab.

Officers reportedly beat Amini's head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles. The police have said there is no evidence of any mistreatment and that she suffered "sudden heart failure" -- which protesters and human rights groups have dismissed.

'Don't destabilise and topple' institutions: Iran Parliamentary Speaker

On Sunday, Iran’s parliamentary speaker warned that the protests ould destabilize the country and urged security forces to deal harshly with those he claimed endanger public order, as countrywide unrest entered its third week.

Posts on social media showed there were scattered anti-government protests in Tehran and running clashes with security forces in other towns Sunday, even as the government has moved to block, partly or entirely, internet connectivity in Iran.

Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf told lawmakers that unlike the current protests, which he said aim to topple the government, previous demonstrations by teachers and retirees over pay were aimed at reforms, according to the legislative body’s website.

“The important point of the (past) protests was that they were reform-seeking and not aimed at overthrowing” the system, said Qalibaf. “I ask all who have any (reasons to) protest not to allow their protest to turn into destabilizing and toppling” of institutions.

Qalibaf, the parliamentary speaker, is a former influential commander in the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard. Along with the president and the head of the judiciary, he is one of three ranking officials who deal with all important issues of the nation.

The three meet regularly and sometimes meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters.

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