Iran human rights group claims 83 killed in Mahsa Amini protests

Norway-based organisation claims children among those killed in two weeks of demonstrations against Iran's morality police

A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini. Reuters
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Protests continued in several cities across Iran on Thursday after the death of a young woman in morality police custody, as a human rights group said at least 83 people had been killed in nearly two weeks of demonstrations.

Mahsa Amini, 22, from the Iranian-Kurdish town of Saqez, was arrested this month in Tehran due to her “unsuitable attire” by the morality police, which enforces the country's strict dress code for women.

Her death has sparked the first big show of opposition on Iran's streets since authorities crushed protests against a rise in petrol prices in 2019.

“At least 83 people including children are confirmed to have been killed in [the] #IranProtests,” Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group, said on Twitter.

Despite the growing death toll and a fierce crackdown by authorities, videos posted on Twitter showed demonstrators calling for the fall of the clerical establishment in Tehran, Qom, Rasht, Sanandaj, Masjed-i-Suleiman and other cities.

Protests have also taken place outside the country, with former detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe cutting her hair in solidarity in a video shared on the BBC Persian service.

State television said police had arrested a large number of “rioters”, without giving figures.

Rights groups said dozens of activists, students and artists have been detained and the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Twitter that security forces had arrested at least 28 journalists.

Meanwhile, Germany's foreign minister said on Thursday that she wanted the European Union to impose sanctions on Iran following Amini's death.

In Norway, several people attempted to enter the Iranian embassy in Oslo during a demonstration in which two people sustained injuries, Norwegian police said. Authorities detained 95 people, public broadcaster NRK reported.

President Ebrahim Raisi said the unrest was simply another move by hostile western powers to destabilise Iran.

“The enemies have committed computational errors in the face of Islamic Iran for 43 years, imagining that Iran is a weak country that can be dominated,” Mr Raisi said on state television.

Updated: September 29, 2022, 9:12 PM