March 25, 2023

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Protesters in Iran flee at the sound of gunfire. One official called for them to be dealt with harshly. VIDEO

A senior Iranian official called on security forces to deal with protesters harshly, while videos of people running through the streets to the sound of gunfire emerged in public.

Some of the country’s worst protests in years have taken place in the past two weeks following the death of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old died after being detained by moral police for not following the country’s strict Islamic dress code, with her family claiming she was “tortured”, according to Sky News.

Iran’s parliamentary speaker warns protests over Mahsi Amini could destabilize country and topple institutions

On Sunday, Iran’s parliamentary speaker, Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, warned that protests over her death could destabilize the country.

He told politicians that unlike the current protests, which he said were aimed at toppling the government, previous demonstrations by teachers and pensioners over pay were about reforms.

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“I ask all those who have (reasons) to protest not to allow their protest to turn into the destabilization and overthrow” of institutions, he added.

During the parliamentary session, politicians chanted “thanks to the police” in support of the crackdown on large-scale demonstrations.

Qalibaf’s remarks came as Iranian security forces clashed with protesting students at Sharif University in Iran’s capital, Tehran. Demonstrations took place at numerous universities and in several cities across Iran on Sunday.

Several videos emerged online showing security forces firing tear gas to drive students off the campus and gunshots being heard.

According to the Norway-based humanitarian group Iran Human Rights, 133 people have been killed so far across the country, but Iranian authorities did not specify an exact death toll and said many members of the security forces were killed by “protesters and foreign enemies”.

What happened to Mahsa Amini?

The protests began after Mahsa Amini was arrested on September 13 for wearing her hijab too loosely with a few strands of her hair showing, which is considered “inappropriate attire” under Iran’s Islamic dress code.

She died three days later in hospital after falling into a coma.

The young woman’s father has not yet received access to the official records of the case, according to dpa, quoted by Agerpres.

“No one is giving me an answer about my daughter’s death,” Amjad Amini was quoted as saying by local media on Sunday. The responsible authorities “as well as forensic medicine do not even allow me to see the files,” he said. Instead, he was told to be patient, Amini added.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi had promised him that his daughter’s death would be investigated, “but so far nothing has happened,” said the girl’s father, quoted by the Eghtesad-News website.

Amini’s lawyers requested in court access to the police files and video recordings.

Mahsa Amini died in hospital on September 16 after falling into a coma, but the cause of her death remains unknown. She was arrested by moral police in Tehran last month, but it is not clear what happened to her in custody. Accused of brutality, the police rejected the accusations, and the Ministry of the Interior claimed that the 22-year-old died of heart failure.

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