The number of confirmed deaths from Iran’s crackdown on protesters continued to rise on Monday. Newly released statistics from Amnesty International state that the confirmed number is now over 200.
“The number of people believed to have been killed during demonstrations in Iran that broke out on 15 November has risen to at least 208,” Amnesty International reported based on what it described as “credible reports received by the organization.”
The organization added that “the real figure is likely to be higher.”
“This alarming death toll is further evidence that Iran’s security forces went on a horrific killing spree, that left at least 208 people dead in less than a week. This shocking death toll displays the Iranian authorities’ shameful disregard for human life,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. “Those responsible for this bloody clampdown on demonstrations must be held accountable for their actions. Since the Iranian authorities have previously shown they are unwilling to carry out independent, impartial and effective investigations into unlawful killings and other arbitrary use of force against protesters, we are calling on the international community to help ensure accountability.”
The Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on Monday that Dr. Leila Vaseghi, governor of Shahr-e Qods, West Tehran Province admitted on Iranian state television that she ordered protesters to be shot at.
“I said [to the policemen]: Whoever passes the door to the governor’s building – shoot him!” Vaseghi said, according to a translation of her remarks by MEMRI.
Iranian Municipal Official Dr. Leila Vaseghi: I Gave Police Orders to Shoot at Protesters pic.twitter.com/YLI5RZlCIG
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 2, 2019
Recently, MEMRI reported on additional troubling remarks made on Iranian state television, including by a Quran “expert” who said that the protesters should be brutally slaughtered and an imam who said that those who disrupt public security should receive the “harshest” punishments possible.
The New York Times reported over the weekend that up to 450 protesters had been killed by the Iranian government with thousands more wounded and even more detained by the Islamic Regime.
The single largest alleged massacre committed by the Islamic Republic guards happened in the city of Mahshahr, where “Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps members surrounded, shot and killed 40 to 100 demonstrators – mostly unarmed young men – in a sugar cane field where they had sought refuge,” the Times reported.
Omid Memarian, who is deputy director at the Center for Human Rights in Iran, told the Times: “The recent use of lethal force against people throughout the country is unprecedented, even for the Islamic Republic and its record of violence.”
The protests initially started over a surprise increase in fuel prices that threatened to further disrupt Iran’s devastated economy.
“Iran shut down internet access amid the unrest, blocking those inside the country from sharing their videos and information, as well as limiting the outside world from knowing the scale of the protests and violence,” PBS News Hour reported. “While not drawing as many Iranians into the streets as those protesting the disputed 2009 presidential election, the gasoline price demonstrations rapidly turned violent faster than any previous rallies. That shows the widespread economic discontent gripping the country since May 2018, when President Donald Trump imposed crushing sanctions after unilaterally withdrawing from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.”