92 killed in Iran’s crack down on women-led protests

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Thousands march in Canada in solidarity with protesters

At least 92 people have been killed as Iran has cracked down on women-led protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the morality police, the group Iran Human Rights said Sunday.

Kurdish Iranian Amini, 22, was pronounced dead on September 16 after she was detained for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes, sparking Iran’s biggest wave of unrest in almost three years.

An additional 41 people died in clashes on Friday in Iran’s far southeast, reported Oslo-based IHR citing local sources, saying the protests were sparked by accusations that a police chief in the region had raped a teenage girl of the Baloch minority.

Solidarity rallies with Iranian women have been held worldwide, with demonstrations in more than 150 cities on Saturday.

Clashes between Iranian protesters and security forces have rocked cities nationwide for 16 nights in a row after they first flared in western regions home to Iran’s Kurdish minority, where Amini hailed from.

“Rioters” and “thugs”, some hurling Molotov cocktails, attacked the Tehran headquarters of Iran’s leading ultraconservative daily Kayhan on Saturday, said the newspaper, whose director is appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam urged the international community to take urgent steps against the Islamic republic to stop the killing of Iranian protesters, saying they amount to “crimes against humanity”.

London-based Amnesty International said earlier it had confirmed 53 deaths, after Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said last week that “around 60” people had died.

The poverty-stricken region has often seen clashes with Balochi minority rebels, Sunni Muslim groups. But a Sunni Muslim preacher, Molavi Abdol Hamid, said the community was “inflamed” after the alleged rape of a teenage girl by a police officer in the province, in a post on the cleric’s website.

Tens of thousands also come out for solidarity rallies in several Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Toronto and the capital Ottawa.

A protest took place Saturday in the US capital Washington where hundreds of members of the Kurdish community, some bearing placards calling for regime change in Tehran, gathered outside the White House gates.

In Canada, public broadcaster CBC showed images from Toronto on Saturday of motorists honking their support for demonstrators lining a 5km stretch of road, wearing “Justice for Mahsa Amini” t-shirts and waving Iranian flags on the end of hockey sticks.—Agencies

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