Fifth Iranian paramilitary member killed as president warns protesters can be handled ‘decisively’ | CNN


A fifth member of an Iranian volunteer paramilitary group died Sunday after clashing with what state media known as “rioters and thugs,” because the nation’s President Ebrahim Raisi warned that protesters can be handled “decisively” after days of nationwide unrest.

The individual died from accidents sustained on Thursday in Urmia metropolis in northwest Iran, Iranian state information company IRNA mentioned. Different members of Basij, a paramilitary group related to the highly effective Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), have been killed in Qazvin, Tabriz, Mashhad and Qouchan.

The protests have been sparked by the demise of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian girl detained by morality police on September 13 accused of violating the nation’s conservative costume code.

Lots of of anti-government demonstrators returned to the streets of Tehran and dozens of different provincial cities as darkness fell on Sunday, regardless of claims by state-run information companies that pro-government rallies have put an finish to the protests.

The protesters organized themselves regardless of a crackdown by safety forces, arrests of protesters and web disruption. Protesters chanted anti-government and anti-Supreme Chief slogans, in addition to “demise to dictator,” whereas venting their anger in opposition to the Basij militias.

Since Friday, demonstrations have taken place in not less than 40 cities nationwide, together with the capital Tehran, with protesters demanding an finish to violence and discrimination in opposition to girls in addition to an finish to obligatory carrying of the hijab.

At the very least 35 individuals have died in Iran in latest protests over the demise of Amini, state media outlet the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) mentioned late on Friday.

Amnesty Worldwide beforehand mentioned that 30 individuals had died. CNN can not independently confirm the demise toll – a exact determine is unimaginable for anybody exterior the Iranian authorities to verify – and completely different estimates have been given by opposition teams, worldwide rights organizations and native journalists.

At the very least 1,200 individuals have been arrested in reference to the wave of protests, Iranian state-backed information company Tasmin reported Saturday, citing a safety official. The IRGC has accused the protesters of “rioting” and “vandalism,” and known as on the police to “defend the safety of the nation.”

At the very least 17 journalists have been arrested in Iran as anti-state protests unfold throughout the nation, in keeping with a report from the Committee to Defend Journalists (CPJ), a non-profit that displays press freedom.

Iranian authorities say they’ll limit web entry within the nation till calm is restored to the streets. In the meantime, the IRGC, the elite wing of the Iranian army that was established within the aftermath of the nation’s revolution in 1979, has requested all individuals to determine protesters, the nation’s semi-official information company Fars Information mentioned.

On Sunday, tons of of hundreds of Iranians held pro-government rallies in lots of cities in Iran to sentence the latest unrest, state information IRNA reported.

Individuals took to the streets in lots of cities and cities, together with the holy metropolis of Mashhad, the northwestern metropolis of Qazvin, the central metropolis of Esfahan in addition to the western cities of Hamedan and Yasuj, to indicate their “unity and outrage over the latest acts of sabotage perpetrated by rioters,” state information added.

In keeping with Press TV, the demonstrators “condemned the crimes and evil acts dedicated by a handful of mercenaries serving overseas enemies, who set fireplace to the Holy Qur’an, mosques, and the nationwide flags and forcefully eliminated girls’s headscarves on the streets.”

Authorities hope that by proscribing the web they will management the protests – the most recent in a wave that has swept Iran in recent times. They began with the Inexperienced motion in 2009 over contested election outcomes and extra lately the 2019 protests sparked by an increase in gas costs. Lots of have been believed to have been killed within the violent crackdown three years in the past and hundreds injured, in keeping with estimates launched by the UN and rights teams.

However this yr’s protests are completely different – of their scope, scale and unprecedented feminist nature. There may be additionally mobilization throughout the socio-economic divide. A younger technology of Iranians are rising up on the streets in opposition to many years of repression – arguably bolder than ever.

The demonstrations have unfold to dozens of Iranian cities, from the Kurdish area within the northwest, to the capital Tehran and much more historically conservative cities like Mashhad.

Whereas they have been ignited by the demise of Amini, the preliminary requires accountability have become calls for for extra rights and freedoms, particularly for girls who for many years because the 1979 Islamic Revolution have confronted discrimination and extreme restrictions on their rights.

‘I am frightened’: Girls open up about Iran’s hijab legislation following police custody demise

However requires regime change are rising too. Individuals throughout the nation are chanting for “demise to the dictator,” in a reference to the Supreme Chief, tearing down portraits of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Exceptional photographs emerged on Friday night time from Khamenei’s birthplace within the metropolis of Mashhad, the place protesters set fireplace to the statue of a person thought-about one of many symbols of the Islamic Revolution. Such scenes have been unthinkable previously.

That is all occurring at a time when Iran’s hardline management is beneath rising strain with talks to revive the stalled 2015 nuclear settlement and the state of the financial system beneath US sanctions; bizarre Iranians are struggling to deal with hovering ranges of inflation.

Whereas these protests are the largest problem for the federal government for years, analysts imagine the federal government will seemingly transfer to comprise them by resorting to the heavy-handed techniques it has used previously. There are indicators a brutal crackdown is coming, together with the web restrictions on a degree not seen since 2019. Different measures embody the federal government mobilizing its supporters in mass rallies following Friday prayers; officers dismissing the demonstrators as rioters and overseas brokers, and ominous warnings the military and highly effective Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps can be deployed to take care of the protests.

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