Protests in Iran: citizens of nine foreign countries, including Italians, were arrested

Iran has arrested 9 foreign citizens for protests that have shaken the country for over two weeks. Among these there would also be one or more Italians, along with citizens of Germany, Sweden, Poland, France, Holland and other unspecified countries, according to the Foreign Ministry of Tehran, which accuses them of “being involved or having been in places »Of the demonstrations for Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died on September 16 after being stopped by the moral police for not wearing the veil correctly. The young woman’s case immediately caused a stir in Iran and the rest of the world. President Ebrahim Raisi said that an official report will soon be presented to clarify the circumstances of her death while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has asked for an impartial investigation by an independent institution. Since Mahsa’s death, there have been daily demonstrations in various cities of the country that have severely challenged the Iranian authorities. In addition to slogans against the government and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in videos of the protests posted by the protesters themselves on social media, and disseminated by Iranian media based abroad, many women are seen taking off or burning the veil, which is mandatory in public for law since the Iranian Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.

The videos also show harsh interventions by the police on the demonstrators and, according to the Oslo-based NGO ‘Iran Human Rights’, at least 83 demonstrators have been killed since the beginning of the protests, while according to the Fars agency, close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the death toll among demonstrators and security forces has reached 60. Thousands arrested, almost 3,000 in the capital Tehran alone, according to IranWire sources. The news of the arrest of the 9 foreigners comes on the day Amnesty International released a report showing how the Iranian authorities ordered the security forces to use zero tolerance against protesters. According to the Amnesty documents, the leaders of the armed forces gave the order to the agents to “confront hard” with the demonstrators to stop the protest “at any cost” even “reaching the point of causing deaths”. The NGO documented torture and other forms of violence, including sexual abuse, by the security forces against demonstrators. Criticism of the repression of the protests has come in recent days from the United States and also from Spain and Germany, which have summoned the Iranian ambassadors in their respective countries, while the leader of Fratelli d’Italia, and premier in pectore, Giorgia Meloni shared on social media a message in support of women who protest.

International solidarity for the protesters was also demonstrated by many celebrities, including actress Jennifer Aniston and singer Patti Smith, and demonstrations were held in support of Iranian women in various countries including Greece, Turkey, Italy and beyond. at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels. Support for the protest has also arrived on social media from many Iranian artists, musicians and sportsmen but, according to independent media, some of them have been arrested for their comments, such as footballer Hossein Mahini.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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