UN voices concern over Iran’s treatment of detained protesters

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DUBAI: The UN human rights office expressed worry on Friday about Iran’s treatment of jailed protesters and said authorities were refusing to release some of those slain, as protestors chanted for the execution of the country’s top leader once more.

Since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police detention last month, the Islamic Republic has been gripped by protests. Since the 1979 revolution, the unrest has provided one of the most audacious threats to Iran’s clerical government.

Protesters in the city of Zahedan, close to Iran’s southern border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, were shown on social media on Friday shouting for the death of “dictator” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Basij militia, which has played a key role in the crackdown on demonstrators.

During anti-government riots in Zahedan four weeks ago, dozens of people were killed in violence. The regional security council has stated that armed dissidents started the clashes, which resulted in the deaths of innocent people, yet police have admitted to “shortcomings.”

According to rights groups, at least 250 demonstrators have been slain and hundreds have been imprisoned across the country. A ruthless onslaught by security forces, including the notorious Basij militia, which has a history of silencing dissent, has failed to quell the uprising.

“There has been a lot of bad treatment… but also persecution of demonstrators’ families,” Ravina Shamdasani, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said during a press conference in Geneva, citing several sources.

“Of great worry is evidence that authorities have been transferring injured demonstrators from hospitals to prison cells and refusing to return the bodies of those killed to their relatives,” she said.

Shamdasani went on to say that in certain cases, authorities imposed restrictions on the handover of bodies, such as telling families not to organize funerals or speak to the media. She also said that detained protesters were sometimes denied medical attention.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said their intelligence unit stopped a bomb assault in Shiraz, two days after a deadly shooting at a shrine there, according to the guards’ news service Sepah News.

The Daesh-claimed shooting on Wednesday killed 15 worshippers at the Shah Cheragh shrine.

Source: Reuters

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