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Monday, 18 January 2021

Over 100 killed in Iran unrest: Amnesty Intl.

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Over 100 killed in Iran unrest: Amnesty Intl.
Over 100 killed in Iran unrest: Amnesty Intl.

At least 106 protestors have been killed in 21 cities in Iran during unrest that broke out over fuel price rises last week, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Conway G.

Gittens reports.

More than 100 protesters have been killed by Iranian security forces since people took to the streets to protest fuel price hikes.

That's according to the human rights group Amnesty International who warned that some reports suggest it could be as many as 200 dead in 21 cities across Iran.

Protests like this one have sprung up across the country after a hike in the cost of gasoline.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed the turmoil on Iran's foreign enemies, including the U.S. And denounced protesters as "thugs".

The UN on Tuesday voiced concern at Iranian security forces use of live ammunition against demonstrators.

And urged authorities to rein in its use of force.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY (OHCHR) SPOKESMAN, RUPERT COLVILLE, SAYING: "Simply responding with harsh words and an iron fist raises a significant risk not only of violating international norms and standards, but also of seriously aggravating the situation to everyone's disadvantage, including the government's." Amnesty pointed to eyewitness reports that security forces have been taking away dead bodies and injured people from roads and hospitals.

And have refused to return the bodies of many of the victims to their family.

Getting information out of the Islamic republic is proving hard with the internet nearly all but shut down.

Access has been cut off since Saturday as protests spread.

The U.S. special representative for Iran said they were providing circumvention tools.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR IRAN, BRIAN HOOK, SAYING: "We are also trying to put in place workarounds to help the people work around the Iranian regime shutting down the internet.

And we think that is going to help some people connect to the internet so they can continue getting out their videos." Since the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran - many are struggling with the combination of a sharp fall in the value of the Iranian rial and the spiraling cost bread, rice and other staples.

And with cost of oil now up as well, Iranians feel their only recourse is take their frustration to the streets.


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