Many of the recently arrested protesters have been teenagers, according to a senior IRGC official.
Tehran, Iran – Another round of counter-demonstrations in support of the Iranian state has been organized as the protests that formed after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16 near the end of their third week.
Pro-government demonstrations in northern Tehran began in the early afternoon on Wednesday and are expected to last for several hours. Like the previous two rounds, they were announced through state media and mass text messages, and were expected to condemn “the recent riots and the crimes of the rioters.”
Wednesday marked the 19th day since the protests began, during which dozens have been killed and many arrested. Authorities have not released an official tally.
Ali Salehi, the capital’s attorney general, announced on Tuesday that 400 people arrested in “riots” in Tehran have so far been released after pledging never to repeat their acts.
A senior lawmaker briefed by intelligence authorities said the same day that an unknown number of “riot leaders” would remain jailed.
With the start of the school year, videos of schoolchildren and teenagers taking off their hijabs and chanting slogans have been widely shared on social media.
Ali Fadavi, the second-ranking commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said on Wednesday that the “average age of many of those recently arrested is 15 years old” and that many of them had been “victims” of a narrative. promoted on social media and overseas outlets.
Meanwhile, the death of a teenage girl who joined protests in Tehran has been widely shared on social media. Nika Shakarami was missing for 10 days just before her 17th birthday before her family finally found her body in a morgue in Tehran. According to reports, she had suffered a severe head injury.
An investigation into her death has been launched, but authorities have rejected allegations that security forces may have beaten her.
State-affiliated media reported Wednesday that Shakarami’s body was found in a home’s yard after falling from the roof of a neighboring home, and eight people who were in the vicinity at the time were arrested.
College students have also figured prominently in protests so far on campuses across the country. Earlier this week, riot police surrounded the prestigious Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and arrested an unknown number. Since then, authorities have said “most” of the students have been released.
Online activity around the protests has also continued, with Amini’s name used prominently on Twitter.
Judicial chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said Tuesday that the time from Amini’s arrest by Iran’s so-called “morality police” in Tehran on Sept. 13 to his collapse from an apparent stroke at a of police “reeducation” was less than an hour.
Her statements supported Iranian authorities’ claims that Amini was not ill-treated or beaten, and had pre-existing conditions, something her family has denied. An investigation into her death is expected to produce results within days.
As the protests continued amid persistent internet restrictions, top Iranian officials repeatedly condemned what they called a “foreign presence” behind the unrest.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that there had been “unrest and insecurity” in the country. caused by the united states and israel.
Officials have also condemned US statements and sanctions in support of the protests. The European Union has also signaled that it is considering human rights sanctions against Tehran.
“We are not happy with the positions and interventions of some European officials on recent events, and if the EU wants to make a hasty and uncalculated move that shows double standards, it must wait for the effective and reciprocal act of the Islamic Republic,” he said. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein. Amirabdollahian warned his Italian counterpart about him in a phone call on Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry had summoned UK Ambassador Simon Shercliff for the second time in 10 days to “strongly condemn interventionist statements” by British officials.
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