At least 342, including 69 women, children, killed in Iran protests


TEHRAN — At least 342 people, including 43 children and 26 women, have been killed by security forces during ongoing nationwide protests in Iran, according to a human rights organization.

Iran has been gripped by mass unrest since mid-September over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in custody after being arrested by the country’s morality police.

Her family believes she was beaten in police custody, allegations that Iranian authorities have denied.

In a report on Wednesday, Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) said it has documented deaths of protesters in 23 of Iran’s 31 provinces in the past two months.

“Of the 43 children, nine were girls and three were Afghan nationals. The 43 children were all under 18 years of age, but have not all been verified through document evidence,” the group said.

The highest fatality count of 123 was reported in the Sistan and Baluchestan province, followed by 39 in Tehran, 33 in Mazandaran, 32 in Kurdistan, and 23 in Gilan.

“Thousands have also been arrested in the last two months, with some being at risk of death sentences for security-related charges … in show trials,” read the report.

At least five people have been sentenced to death, IHRNGO said, adding that Iran’s judiciary “is not independent, but a part of the repressive system and the sentences lack all legitimacy.”

The group stressed that “the numbers of deaths published are an absolute minimum” and the “actual number of people killed … is certainly higher.”

Several Western countries have imposed a slew of sanctions on Iranian officials and entities for what they call “repression of protests.”

The Iranian government has not yet come out with an official death toll. — Agencies

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