The human rights organization Amnesty International has documented violence against demonstrators in Iran and is calling for an international investigation. Security forces used live ammunition, shotgun pellets and other metal projectiles. There are also reports of massive beatings and gender-specific and sexualized violence against women, the organization said on Thursday.
Amnesty has also documented the deaths of dozens of women, men and children, but assumes an even higher number of fatalities. State media have reported more than 40 deaths so far. The killing of demonstrators must be investigated within the framework of a UN mechanism, demanded Amnesty Secretary General Agnès Callamard. On Thursday, the Bundestag condemned the violent crackdown on protests critical of the regime across all parties. "The Iranian authorities must stop their brutal actions against the demonstrators immediately," said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) in a current hour.
No end to the protests
In Iran, meanwhile, the protests continue. They were triggered more than ten days ago by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini and are now directed against the Islamic system in Iran. Another journalist who wanted to report on the demonstrations was arrested, as was announced on Thursday. The reform-oriented "Hammihan" newspaper reported on the Telegram news channel that Elahe Mohammadi was initially summoned by the judicial authorities, but was arrested on the way there.
There is no exact number of journalists arrested, but there are dozens. Among them is Nilufar Hamedi - the reporter for the reform newspaper "Shargh" was the first to publicize Masha Amini's death.
The moral police arrested Amini because of her allegedly "un-Islamic outfit". Iran has had strict dress codes for women since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. What exactly happened after Amini's arrest is unclear. The young woman fell into a coma and died in a hospital on September 16. Critics accuse the morality police of using violence. The police reject the allegations and speak of heart failure.
family filed a complaint
The Amini family is said to have reported the police officers allegedly involved, according to their lawyer. Since the 22-year-old's death, people across the country have been demonstrating against the repressive course of the Islamic system. In response, the government has severely restricted access to the Internet - it is difficult for information to leak out.
In a television interview on Wednesday evening, President Ebrahim Raisi on the one hand agreed to conciliatory tones, but at the same time announced tough action against demonstrators. The "tolerance threshold" should also be raised with a view to protests, according to Raisi. He also spoke of a possible reform of laws, but left open which ones. But Raisi also warned that the police would take consistent action against "rioters."
The protests have nationwide support, but many also fear long-term chaos or even civil war. Because of the situation, retailers have to close their shops completely or earlier. Added to this is the internet ban, which has de facto paralyzed all online businesses. This harms the Iranian economy, which is already suffering from international sanctions. So far it is unclear what the result of the protests could be. The overthrow of the system seems unrealistic so far, also because there is no serious opposition either at home or abroad.
Meanwhile, in the Norwegian capital Oslo, demonstrators tried to get into the Iranian embassy. According to the police, more than 90 people were taken into custody. According to media reports, the protesters threw stones and the police used tear gas.