Iran protests: Lawmakers demand ‘no mercy’ for protesters as mass demonstrations continue



CNN

Iranian lawmakers urged the country’s judiciary to “show no leniency” to protesters in a letter quoted by state-run Press TV on Sunday, as thousands continue to demonstrate in the streets despite the threat of arrest.

The Islamic Republic is facing one of the largest and unprecedented demonstrations of dissent following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman arrested by the morality police for allegedly not wearing the hijab properly.

In an open letter signed by 227 of Iran’s 290 members of Parliament, Press TV reports that lawmakers are calling for the protesters to be taught a “good lesson” to deter others who threaten the authority of the Iranian government.

“We, the representatives of this nation, call on all state officials, including the Judiciary, to treat those who have waged war (against the Islamic establishment) and attacked the lives and property of people like Daesh (terrorists), a as a good lesson in the shortest possible time,” reads the letter according to state-run Press TV.

The lawmakers added that such punishment, whose methods were not specified, “would demonstrate to everyone that the life, property, safety and honor of our dear people is a red line for this (Islamic) establishment and that it would show no leniency to anyone.” in this sense.”

Iran has charged at least 1,000 people in Tehran province for their alleged involvement in nationwide protests over Amini’s death, the biggest such show of dissent in years, state news agency IRNA reported. Their trials are public and have been going on for more than a week.

Norway-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said in a report last Wednesday that dozens of protesters face charges including “enemy against God” and “corruption in the land”, which carry the death penalty.

The letter from members of Parliament also reiterates claims by the previous Iranian government that the ongoing protests – which it calls riots – were incited by the US and other enemies of Iran. Iran’s government has not provided evidence to support its claims of foreign involvement in the protest movement.

Javaid Rehman, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, told the UN Security Council last week that up to 14,000 people, including journalists, activists, lawyers and educators, had been detained since the protests broke out. in Iran They will go in mid-September.

Rehman said the “unrelenting violent response by the security forces” had caused at least 277 deaths.

The recent death of Iranian-Kurdish woman Nasrin Qadri sparked a wave of protests in her hometown of Marivan on Sunday, with Kurdish rights group Hengaw Organization for Human Rights and activist media IranWire claiming she had “suffered serious injuries” from clubbing to the head. wielded by the Iranian security forces.

His cause of death was disputed; the prosecutor in Shahriyar, a town half an hour outside Tehran where Qadri allegedly lived, said the initial medical diagnosis of his cause of death was poisoning, adding that, according to a family statement, he also had a previous illness. , as reported by the state news agency of the Islamic Republic (IRNA).

His father said separately in an on-camera statement broadcast by Iranian state television that Qadri died of the flu and that “rumors” about his death were false, an explanation that Hengaw activist Azhin Shekhi believes was forced.

“First they forced his family to say publicly that his death was caused by an illness,” Shekhi told CNN.

“The security forces also did not allow his relatives to gather at his parents’ house when his body was brought back home, and also prohibited any kind of funeral or burial,” Sheikh added.

CNN cannot independently verify the numbers of arrests, deaths and many of the accounts of those killed due to the Iranian government’s suppression of the media, internet and transparency. Nor can the media directly access the government on its own about these cases, unless there are reports in the state media, a government spokesperson.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Azhin Shekhi’s name.

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