Raisi to 'deal decisively' with widespread unrest

September 25, 2022 10:50 am

[Source: BBC]

Iran’s president has vowed to take action against protesters after more than a week of anti-government demonstrations.

President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to “deal decisively” with the protests, which have now spread to most of Iran’s 31 provinces.

Officials say some 35 people have been killed since protests broke out over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.

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Clashes continue in several cities.

Ms Amini had been detained for allegedly breaking headscarf rules. Officers reportedly beat her 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”.

And while Mr Raisi says her death will be investigated, his Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has insisted that Ms Amini was not beaten.

“Reports from oversight bodies were received, witnesses were interviewed, videos were reviewed, forensic opinions were obtained and it was found that there had been no beating,” he said.

Videos circulating on social media have captured violent unrest in dozens of cities across the country over the past few days, with some showing security forces firing what appeared to be live ammunition on protesters in the north-western cities of Piranshahr, Mahabad and Urmia.

More clashes in several cities, including the capital Tehran, were reported on Saturday. Demonstrators are reported to be spreading out to avoid congregating in a single place.

New images have also appeared on social media showing protesters hurling petrol bombs at the security forces.

Meanwhile reformist group the Union of Islamic Iran People’s Party has called for the mandatory dress code to be repealed and for “peaceful demonstrations” to be allowed.