Anti-hijab protests: Iran’s security forces crackdown on dissenters with tear gas, guns

Tehran: Iran’s security forces on Saturday intensified their crackdown over anti-government protests resulting in the death of two persons. In Sanandaj, security forces shot and killed a driver in his car, while in one of the schools in Saqqez, two teachers were injured, according to the Iranian human rights group Hengaw.

Another protester was shot in the abdomen by IRGC security forces and died, Hengaw said. “Students in the schools in Sanandaj and Saqqez started the protests. Then, government forces started an attack on one of the schools in Saqqez,” Azhin Sheikhi, from Hengaw told CNN.

Iran`s security forces shot at protesters and used tear gas in the Kurdish cities of Sanandaj and Saqez in fresh protests as weeks of nationwide demonstrations gathered momentum.

Widespread strikes are taking place in Saqez, Diwandareh, Mahabad, and Sanandaj, said Hengaw.

The Norway-registered Hengaw human rights organization has been monitoring human rights violations in Iran`s Kurdish region, where the protests began three weeks ago, following the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman, while in the custody of the morality police. Saqez is also her hometown.

Meanwhile, protests also continued in other locations across the country on Saturday including Tehran, Karaj, Esfahan, Shiraz, Kerman, Mashhad, Tabriz and Rasht, reported CNN.

Speaking at Alzahra University, an all-girls institution in Tehran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi commented on the latest riots across the country. “The enemy thought that they could follow their desires inside the university, unaware that our students and professors were awake and would not allow the enemy`s false dreams to come true,” Raisi said according to a statement issued by his office.

Social media video showed protests at the same university with women chanting “Death to the oppressor, whether it be the Shah or the Supreme Leader.” It was unclear if the protest took place while the president was at the university, reported CNN.

Video provided to US-funded Radio Farda also showed riot police beating up a young woman in Tehran.

Also Read: EU lawmaker cuts off her hair in support of hijab protests in Iran, says ‘Enough of the mumbling’

Total death toll figures since protests kicked off vary from government, opposition groups, international rights organizations and local journalists.

An Iran-focused human rights group based in Norway, IranHR, tallied the number of deaths since the protests started across Iran at 154. Human Rights Watch said as of September 31, Iranian state-affiliated media placed the number of deaths at 60. 

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