Home / News / World /  Iran protests civilian death toll rises to 31 as anti-hijab unrest deepens. Top updates

With protests being reported from scores of towns and cities in Iran, at least 31 civilians have reportedly been killed in an Iranian security forces crackdown on protests that erupted over the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the morality police, according to AFP report citing an Oslo-based NGO.

The Oslo-based non-government group Iran Human Rights said at least 31 civilians had been killed in Iran's crackdown during six nights of violence against protesters in over 30 towns and cities, according to the AFP report.

This developments comes in as Iranians come together to rally in order "to achieve their fundamental rights and human dignity... and the government is responding to their peaceful protest with bullets," charged the group's director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

Meanwhile, the security forces have fired at crowds with birdshot and metal pellets, and also deployed tear gas and water cannon, said Amnesty International and other human rights groups, according to the report. Demonstrators have hurled stones at them, set fire to police cars and chanted anti-government slogans, the official IRNA news agency said.

While unprecedented images have shown protesters defacing or burning images of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and late Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani. Iranian women on the streets of Tehran reportedly told AFP they were now more careful about their dress to avoid run-ins with the morality police.

Meanwhile according to Bloomberg report, the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps issued a statement describing the unrest as a “conspiracy" in which protesters had been organized and armed by the “enemy," usually a reference to the US and Israel. The US imposed new sanctions in response to the government’s actions. 

Demonstrations started last Friday following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a young woman who fell into a coma after Tehran’s so-called “morality police" arrested her for allegedly flouting Islamic dress codes. Protests have been reported in scores of towns and cities including the capital Tehran as well as Karaj, Shiraz, Tabriz, Kerman, Kish Island, Yazd, Neyshapur, Esfahan and Mashhad. It’s the most widespread unrest in Iran since November 2019 when authorities shut down the internet and, rights groups say, killed hundreds of people, the Bloomberg report said. 

(With inputs from AFP, Bloomberg)

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