Videos showing Iran’s crackdown on protesters are circulating as anger grows
DUBAI, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Social media videos showing Iranian security forces brutally beating protesters have gone viral as anger grows over a widening crackdown, with arrests of prominent figures from rappers to economists and lawyers aimed at have to end seven weeks of unrest.
The protests, sparked by the September 16 death of morality police during the arrest of Mahsa Amini after she was arrested for inappropriate clothing, have shaken Iran’s clerical establishment with people from all walks of life demanding wholesale political change. :
The nationwide protests calling for the execution of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s leaders since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Amini’s case and the crackdown on protests after his death drew international condemnation from Iran’s rulers.
Meanwhile, Iran’s leaders blame the crisis on the United States and other Western powers, which few Iranians believe.
Khamenei said on Wednesday that US officials who support the protests are “shameless”, state media reported.
“Those who think that the USA is an inviolable power are mistaken,” Khamenei said. “It is completely vulnerable, as evidenced by current events.”
Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Saleh Djokar said that Iranians living abroad who cause “disorder” at home should be stripped of their citizenship.
Ignoring a stern warning from the head of the Revolutionary Guard, Iranians risked their lives and arrests by staying on the streets despite the bloody crackdown.
One video, dated October 22, which has been shared on social media, shows dozens of policemen beating a man at night on a street in southern Tehran. One of the officers ran over him on a motorcycle, then another shot him at close range. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the footage.
“This shocking video sent from Tehran today is yet another horrifying reminder that the brutality of Iran’s security forces knows no bounds,” Amnesty International said on Twitter about the Oct. 22 video.
“Amid the crisis of impunity, they are given the right to brutally beat and shoot protesters. @UN_HRC must urgently investigate these crimes.”
Other videos of protesters being beaten, which Reuters could not verify, have also been shared online.
Iran’s police issued a statement on Tuesday saying that a special order had been issued to investigate the details of a video showing policemen beating a citizen, without releasing any details about the video.
“The police do not approve of harsh and unconventional behavior, law-breaking police officers will certainly be dealt with in accordance with the law,” said the statement, according to Tasnim news agency.
Activist HRANA news agency reports that nearly 300 people, including 46 minors, were killed during the riots. Iran reported that at least 36 members of the security forces were also killed.
About 14,160 people, including about 300 students, were arrested during protests in 133 cities and 129 universities.
The crisis hit Iran’s currency. The US dollar traded as high as 342,600 riyals on the unofficial market on Wednesday, losing nearly 7% of its value since the protests began, Bonbast.com reported.
On Monday night, the security forces went to the house of the famous economist Dawood Suri and arrested him. Officers took his laptop and cellphone with them, and after his arrest, his family was told he was in Evin prison, according to a social media post that Reuters could not verify.
Iranian media released a video of the arrest of popular Iranian rapper Tomaj Salehi on Wednesday, showing him blindfolded and saying he did not mean what he had said in previous comments critical of the authorities.
He was detained after he released several rap videos in support of the protests.
By Michael Georgi; Editing by Nick McPhee
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