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Iranian riot police clash with students protesting the death of a young woman

Iranian riot police clash with students protesting the death of a young woman
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DUBAI, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Iranian security forces clashed with students at a prominent Tehran university on Sunday, social and state media reported, in the latest sign of a deadly crackdown on nationwide protests that began for the death in custody of a young woman

The anti-government protests, which began at the funeral of Mahsa Amini, 22, on September 1. 17 in the Kurdish city of Saqez have become the biggest show of opposition to Iran’s authorities in years, with many calling for an end to more than four decades of Islamic clerical rule.

The activist Twitter account 1500tasvir, which has around 160,000 followers, posted several videos showing Sharif University, traditionally a hotbed of dissent, surrounded by dozens of riot police.

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One of the videos showed security forces firing tear gas to drive students off campus and the sound of what appeared to be gunshots could be heard in the distance.

Another video showed security forces chasing dozens of students trapped in the university’s underground parking lot. The account said dozens of students had been arrested.

Iranian state media described “reports of clashes” at the university and said the country’s science minister visited the campus to check on the situation.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the facts at the university.

Students had been protesting at numerous universities on Sunday and rallies were held in several cities including Tehran, Yazd, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Shiraz and Mashhad, with participants chanting “independence, freedom, death to Khamenei”, previous social media posts showed. .

The protests have not abated despite the mounting death toll and a crackdown by security forces with tear gas, clubs and, in some cases, according to videos on social media and human rights groups, live ammunition.

Iran Human Rights, a group based in Norway, said in a statement that “so far, 133 people have been killed across Iran,” including more than 40 people it said were killed. in clashes last week in Zahedancapital of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

Iranian authorities have not given a death toll, but say many members of the security forces have been killed by “rioters and thugs backed by foreign enemies.” Last week, state television said 41 had been killed, including members of the security forces.

Iran’s supreme authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has not commented on the nationwide protests, which have spread to all 31 provinces of Iran, with the participation of all strata of society, including minorities. ethnic and religious.

Amini’s death and the crackdown have drawn international criticism of Iran’s rulers, who in turn accuse the United States and some European countries of exploiting the unrest to try to destabilize the Islamic Republic.

Iranian state media shared a video of pro-government students, who gathered at Ferdowsi university in Mashhad, chanting “the Islamic Republic is our red line.”

Earlier on Sunday, Iranian lawmakers chanted “thank you police” during a session of parliament, in a show of support for the crackdown on widespread anti-government protests.

DEATH IN COMA

amini was arrested on Sept. 13 in Tehran for “improper dress” by morality police who enforce the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. He died three days later in hospital after falling into a coma.

Amini’s family’s lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, told the semi-official Etemadonline news website that “respectable doctors” believe she was beaten in custody. Amini’s autopsy report and other medical details have not been made public, but her father said he saw bruises on her leg and other women detained with her said they beat her.

Iranian police authorities say Amini died of a heart attack and deny she was beaten to death in custody.

The country’s hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi, has ordered an investigation into Amini’s death. He said last week that a coroner’s report would be filed in “the next few days.”

Amnesty International reported on Friday that hundreds were injured and thousands were arrested in the protests.

State media said at least 20 people were killed in the Zahedan clashes and blamed a minority Baluchi separatist group for starting a firefight in the city.

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Written by Parisa Hafezi; Edited by Frank Jack Daniel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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