Iranian regime’s TV confesses ‘rioters’ killed in multiple cities
Iranian protesters block a highway amid angry protests against a fuel price increase, in Isfahan on November 16.
Date: 2019-12-03 10:51
Iranian regime television on Tuesday (December 3) acknowledged security forces shot and killed what it described as “rioters” in multiple cities amid recent protests over the spike in regime-set gasoline prices — the first time that authorities have offered any sort of accounting for the violence they used to put down the demonstrations.
The acknowledgment came in a television package that criticized international Farsi-language channels for their reporting on the crisis, which began on Nov. 15.
The regime TV report sought to describe killings in four categories, alleging some of those killed were “rioters who have attacked sensitive or military centers with firearms or knives, or have taken hostages in some areas.” The report described others killed as passers-by, security forces and peaceful protesters, without assigning blame for their deaths.
In one case, the report said security forces confronted a separatist group in the city of Mahshahr armed with “semi-heavy weapons.”
“For hours, armed rioters had waged an armed struggle,” the report alleged. “In such circumstances, security forces took action to save the lives of Mahshahr’s people.”
TV separately acknowledged confronting “rioters” in Tehran, as well as in the cities of Shiraz and Sirjan. It also mentioned Shahriar, a suburb of Tehran where Amnesty on Monday said there had been “dozens of deaths.” It described the suburb as likely one of the areas with the highest toll of those killed in the unrest. Shahriar has seen heavy protests.
Amnesty International said Monday it believes at least 208 people were killed in the protests and the crackdown that followed. Iran’s mission to the United Nations disputed Amnesty’s findings early Tuesday, though it offered no evidence to support its claim.
Iranian regime has yet to release any nationwide statistics over the unrest that gripped Iran with minimum prices for subsidized gasoline rising by 50%.
Iranian regime shut down internet access amid the unrest, blocking those inside the country from sharing their videos and information, as well as limiting the outside world from knowing the scale of the protests and violence. The restoration of the internet in recent days across much of the country has seen other videos surface.
“We’ve seen over 200 people killed in a very swift time, in under a week,” said Mansoureh Mills, an Iran researcher at Amnesty. “It’s something pretty unprecedented event in the history of the human rights violations in the Islamic Republic.”
Amnesty offered no breakdown for the deaths elsewhere in the country, though it said “the real figure is likely to be higher.” Mills said there was a “general environment of fear inside of Iran at the moment.”
“The authorities have been threatening families, some have been forced to sign undertakings that they won’t speak to the media,” she said. “Families have been forced to bury their loved ones at night under heavy security presence.”
Authorities also have been visiting hospitals, looking for patients with gunshot wounds or other injuries from the unrest, Mills said. She alleged that authorities then immediately detain those with the suspicious wounds.
Based on AP