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Protests continue in Iran as president threatens ‘decisive’ response

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Protests continued in Tehran and other Iranian cities on Sunday for a 10th day, with videos emerging of large demonstrations despite tighter internet restrictions and an escalating crackdown by security forces, monitoring groups said.

The protests began after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died after being detained by Iran’s morality police this month, amid claims from her family that she had been beaten.

The demonstrations — outpourings of anger over the harsh restrictions on women’s clothing that led to Amini’s arrest and vehicles for more entrenched grievances against Iran’s clerical establishment — have spread to all 31 provinces of Iran and are the largest since Nationwide demonstrations three years ago were met with a deadly security response that killed hundreds.

Anger at Iran’s ‘morality police’ erupts after Mahsa Amini’s death

In the latest protests, at least 41 people have been killed, according to Iran’s state media, including police officers. A stricter crackdown has included the use of live ammunition against protesters and heavy deployments of security forces in the Kurdish areas of western Iran, where the protests have been concentrated.

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As of Sunday, at least 18 journalists had been arrested during the unrest, including several who were detained during morning raids on their homes, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi threatened a harsh response on Saturday, promising a “decisive strike against the disturbers of the country’s security and peace,” in a phone call with the family of a slain member of the security forces. local Iranian news media reported.

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On Sunday, Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s interior minister, called on the judiciary to conduct a “swift and decisive legal confrontation with the leaders and agents of these riots that will teach others a lesson,” according to Hamshahri, a state-run newspaper.

Videos that circulated on Saturday and Sunday showed protests in various areas of Tehran, as well as in Shiraz, in southern Iran, and Fardis, west of the capital. At a protest in Sattar Khan, a central neighborhood of Tehran, a crowd gathered around what was reported to be a burning police motorcycle, chanting “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, we are all together,” according to a video posted by 1500 Tasvir, an anti-government monitoring group.

The group said in a text message that the pace of protest videos emerging from Iran had slowed from Saturday night into Sunday, in part due to internet outages imposed by authorities over the past week, as well as well as restrictions on applications such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Netblocks, an internet monitoring group, said on Sunday night that it had detected a “nationwide outage at Mobinet,” one of Iran’s largest mobile network operators.

In the Kurdish areas of western Iran, where Amini was originally from, cities have become “heavily militarized” by security forces, said Rebin Rahmani, a board member of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, based in Iran. in Paris.

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Videos Show Iran’s Violent Crackdown As Protests Intensify

The cities of Kermanshah, Kamyaran, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Divandarreh and Oshnavieh were “under tight security control,” he said. Oshnavieh had been closed for three days, he said, after a “horrible incident in which several people were killed on Wednesday night.” He denied earlier reports that protesters had defeated security forces in the city.

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In a rural area called Balo, near Iran’s border with Turkey, families of protesters killed last week set fire to a base used by paramilitary Basij forces on Thursday, Rahmani said.

“We haven’t received any video today,” he said. “Because the internet is cut off, it’s very hard to get news.” The arrests were being made based on previously recorded video of the protests, he added.

As the internet blackout darkened events in Iran, news of the death of a lone protester, a woman, circulated widely over the weekend sparked new anger.

The woman, Hadis Najafi, had been seen in a video last week tying her bare blonde hair into a ponytail on the edge of a protest in Karaj, northwest of Tehran. Human rights activists said he was fatally shot by security forces on Wednesday.

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