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Iran’s Raisi warns against ‘chaotic acts’ over Mahsa Amini’s death According to Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People attend a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the “moral police” of the Islamic republic, in Tehran, Iran September 21, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS / Photo File

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By Parisa Hafezi

NEW YORK/DUBAI (Reuters) – Nationalist U.S. President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday said “chaotic acts” were unacceptable, in a warning to protesters who took to the streets around the country country out of anger over the unethical death of a woman in police custody.

Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Raisi added that he had ordered an investigation into the case of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died last week after being arrested for ” inappropriate attire”.

“There is freedom of speech in Iran … but chaotic actions are unacceptable,” said Raisi, who is facing the biggest protests in the Islamic Republic since 2019, .

IRANIAN GUARD CRACKING DOWN ON PROTESTS

Women played a prominent role in the protests, waving and burning veils, with some openly cutting their hair in defiance of clerical leaders.

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards have called on the judiciary to prosecute “spreaders of fake news and false rumors”, in an apparent attempt to stamp out nationwide protests.

In a statement, the Guardians expressed sympathy for Amini’s family.

Protesters in Tehran and other cities torched police stations and vehicles as anger over Amini’s death showed no sign of abating, with reports of security forces being attacked.

A video on Twitter (NYSE:) account 1500tasvir shows protests in the northwestern city of Bukan with the sound of gunfire in the background, as social media posts say the protests have spread to most of Iran’s 31 provinces.

Iranian news websites reported that Iran’s intelligence ministry also tried to break the momentum of the protests, saying it was illegal to attend the protests and that anyone who participated could be prosecuted.

Raisi said the widespread coverage of Amini’s case was the result of a “double standard”.

“Every day in different countries, including the United States, we see men and women die in encounters with police, but without any sensitivity to cause and effect,” he said. how to deal with this violence.

WIDESPREAD RESPONSE TO IRANIAN PROTESTS

Pro-government rallies are planned for Friday and some marchers took to the streets, Iranian media said.

The United States on Thursday sanctioned Iran’s ethics police, accusing them of abuse and violence against Iranian women and violating the rights of peaceful protesters in Iran, the US Treasury Department said. said the US Treasury Department.

Much of the unrest is concentrated in Iran’s Kurdish northeast but has spread to the capital and at least 50 cities and towns, with police using force to disperse protesters. Amini is from the province of Kurdistan.

Internet monitoring group Netblocks wrote on Twitter, a possible sign that authorities are concerned that the protests will intensify.

A member of Iran’s pro-government paramilitary organization, Basij, was stabbed to death in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Wednesday, two semi-official Iranian news agencies reported on Thursday.

There is no official confirmation of the death.

Tasnim news agency also said another member of Basij was killed Wednesday in the city of Qazvin from a wound caused by “rioters and gangs.”

Nour News, a media outlet affiliated with the top security agency, has shared a video showing an army officer confirming the death of a soldier, bringing the total number of security force members killed in the incident. Unrest was reported to 5 people.

In the northeast, protesters shouted “We will die, we will die but we will bring Iran back” near a police station that was set on fire, a video posted on Twitter account 1500tasvir showed. . The account focuses on protests in Iran and has around 100,000 followers.

Reuters could not verify the footage.

PERSONAL FREEDOM IN IRAN

Amini’s death has sparked anger over issues including restrictions on personal freedoms in Iran – including strict dress codes for women – and an economy reeling from sanctions.

Iran’s clerical rulers fear a resurgence of 2019 protests sparked by rising gasoline prices, the bloodiest event in the Islamic Republic’s history. Reuters reported that 1,500 people were killed.

Protesters this week also expressed anger towards Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “Mojtaba, maybe you die and don’t become Supreme Leader,” a crowd was seen chanting in Tehran, referring to Khamenei’s son, who some believe could succeed his father there. the highest position of the Iranian political establishment.

Reuters could not verify the video.

The report by the Kurdish rights group Hengaw, which Reuters could not verify, said the death toll in the Kurdish areas had risen to 15 and the wounded to 733. Iranian officials denied reports that security forces had killed protesters, suggesting they may have been shot by armed dissidents.

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