Iran security forces kill protesters in gas price demonstrations

by Jordyn Pair · Dec 3rd, 2019 11:34 am
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A young protester killed in Karaj city. Masih Alinejad | Twitter

Last Updated Dec 3rd, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Iranian security forces gunned down protesters in multiple cities amid recent demonstrations over an increase in government-set gasoline prices, according to the country's state television on Tuesday.

The report was the first time authorities accounted for the violence used to discourage protesters, according to the Associated Press. It comes a day after Amnesty International estimated that at least 208 people have been killed since protests began in November.

"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," Philip Luther, research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said in a previous statement. "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."

An official from the Iranian judiciary said the count from Amnesty was "sheer lies."

Iran's state TV report alleged on Tuesday that some of those killed were "rioters who have attacked sensitive or military centers with firearms or knives or have taken hostages in some areas." It also said that others were passers-by, security forces, and peaceful protesters.

The state TV also reported that Iranian security forces clashed with an armed separatist group in the city of Mahshahr in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province.

Protests in Iran started in mid-November after the government raised minimum gasoline prices by 50 percent, to 15,000 Iranian rials per liter, roughly 50 cents per gallon. After reaching a monthly 60-liter quote, the price then increases to 30,000 rials per liter, around 90 cents a gallon.

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