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Fifth Iranian paramilitary member killed as president warns protesters will be dealt with ‘definitively’ | CNN


As Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned, a fifth member of Iran’s volunteer paramilitary group died Sunday after clashing with what state media called “rioters and thugs.” protestor After days of national unrest, it will be dealt with “resolutely”.

The man died of injuries in the northwestern city of Ormia on Thursday. Iran, Iran’s state news agency IRNA said. Other members of the Basij, a paramilitary group affiliated with the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were killed in Qazbin, Tabriz, Mashhad and Quchan.

The protests were sparked by the death of Martha Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who was detained by moral police on September 13 for violating Iran’s conservative dress code.

Since Friday, protesters have held demonstrations in at least 40 cities across the country, including the capital Tehran, calling for an end to violence and discrimination against women, and an end to the compulsory wearing of the hijab.

At least 35 people have died in Iran in recent protests over Amini’s death, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Corporation (IRIB), a state media outlet, said late Friday.

Amnesty International previously said 30 people had died. CNN is unable to independently verify the death toll, and exact numbers are impossible to verify except by the Iranian government, with differing estimates made by opposition groups, international rights groups, and local journalists. It is

At least 1,200 people have been arrested in connection with the wave of protests, Iran’s state news agency Tasmin reported on Saturday, citing security officials.The IRGC described the protesters as “rioting” and “vandalism.” and called on the police to “protect national security”.

At least 17 journalists have been arrested as anti-state protests erupt across Iran, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nonprofit that monitors press freedom.

Iranian officials say they will restrict Internet access In the countryside until peace returns to the city. Meanwhile, the IRGC, an elite unit of the Iranian military established in the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian revolution, is asking everyone to identify the protesters, Iran’s semi-official news agency Fars News said.

State news agency IRNA reported.

People took to the streets in many cities and towns, including the holy city of Mashhad, the northwestern city of Qazbin, the central city of Isfahan, and the western cities of Hamedan and Yasuzi to show their “solidarity and anger” against the recent war. . Mob sabotage,” state news added.

According to Press TV, demonstrators “burned the Holy Quran, mosques and national flags, and forced women to remove their headscarves in the streets.” denounced.”

Authorities hope they can control the protests by restricting the internet. It is the latest in a wave that has swept Iran in recent years. It started with action. Hundreds are believed to have died and thousands more injured in the violent crackdown three years ago, according to estimates released by the United Nations and human rights groups.

But this year’s protests are different in their scope, scale and unprecedented feminist nature. Some mobilize across socio-economic divides. A younger generation of Iranians are taking to the streets against decades of repression and are arguably bolder than ever.

Demonstrations have spread to dozens of Iranian cities, from the Kurdish region in the northwest to the capital Tehran and even traditionally conservative cities like Mashhad.

Although they were kindled by Amini’s death, the initial demand for accountability was particularly strong against women, who have faced discrimination and severe restrictions on their rights in the decades since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. turned into demands for more rights and freedoms.

‘I’m scared’: Women open up about Iran’s hijab law after death in police custody

But there are growing calls for a change of government. People across the country are tearing up portraits of the Supreme Leader and chanting “Death to the Dictator”. Ayatollah Ali KhameneiA notable image emerged Friday night of Ayatollah Khamenei’s birthplace in the city of Mashhad, where protesters set fire to a statue of a man seen as one of the symbols of the Islamic revolution. A sight like this was once unimaginable.

This is all happening at a time when Iran’s hardline leaders are under pressure in negotiations to revive the stalled 2015 nuclear deal and the economy under US sanctions. Ordinary Iranians are struggling to cope with skyrocketing inflation.

These protests have been the government’s biggest challenge in years, but analysts believe the government will likely try to contain them by resorting to heavy-handed tactics it has used in the past. There are signs of a brutal crackdown, along with a level of internet restrictions not seen since 2019. Other measures include the government mobilizing supporters at mass rallies following prayers on Friday. Officials have dismissed demonstrators as rioters and foreign agents, and issued ominous warnings that the military and the mighty Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps would be deployed to deal with the protests.

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