Iranian lawmakers demand heavy penalties for “rioters” as protests rage

DUBAI (Reuters) – Hardline Iranian lawmakers urged the judiciary on Sunday to “deal decisively” with the perpetrators of unrest, as the Islamic Republic struggles to quell the biggest display of dissent in years.

Large-scale anti-government protests erupted in September after the death of young Iranian-Kurdish woman Mohasa Amini, who was detained by morality police for allegedly violating a strict dress code imposed on women.

“We demand the judiciary to deal firmly with the perpetrators of these crimes and with all those who helped in the crimes and provoked the riots,” 227 deputies from 290 seats in the Iranian parliament said in a statement, according to state media.

The activist “Huqqa” news agency said 318 protesters had been killed in the unrest as of Saturday, including 49 minors. It added that 38 members of the security forces were also killed.

State media said last month that more than 46 security forces, including the police, had been killed. Government officials have not provided an estimate for any greater number of deaths.

Iranian leaders have vowed to crack down on the protesters, whom they have called rioters and accused enemies including the United States of fomenting the unrest.

Demonstrations continued in many cities, on Sunday, from Tehran to the central city of Yazd and the northern city of Rasht, according to rights groups and videos on social media.

A video posted on Twitter showed protesters in southern Tehran after dark chanting: “The clergy are lost.”

Reuters was not able to independently verify the rights groups’ reports, or from social media posts and footage.

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And in the Kurdish city of Marivan, the Hingaw human rights organization said security forces opened fire on crowds that had gathered after the funeral of another woman, Nasrin Qadri, to protest her death.

Hengao said Ghadiri died in a coma on Saturday after being hit in the head by security forces while demonstrating in Tehran.

State media quoted a public prosecutor as saying that Ghadiri had a heart problem and died of “poisoning”, without going into further details. There was no immediate official comment on the news of the shooting.

Weeks after Amini’s death, a coroner’s report denied Amini’s death from blows to the head while in detention, as her parents claimed, and linked her death to pre-existing medical conditions.

Students in dozens of universities, including the northern cities of Rasht and Amol, staged protests on Sunday chanting “Death to the dictator,” a reference to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to unverified videos on social media.

Written by Parisa Hafezi. Editing by Andrew Heavens

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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