(JNS.org) – At least 106 protesters in 21 cities in Iran have been killed in the latest wave of protests inside the Islamic Republic against the regime, following it announcing a fuel price hike, according to Amnesty International on Tuesday.
Philip Luther, research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said “the authorities must end this brutal and deadly crackdown immediately and show respect for human life. The frequency and persistence of lethal force used against peaceful protesters in these and previous mass protests, as well as the systematic impunity for security forces who kill protesters, raise serious fears that the intentional lethal use of firearms to crush protests has become a matter of state policy.”
While most of the rallies have been peaceful, there have been instances of violence being used by the demonstrators.
“Even if a small minority of protesters have resorted to violence, police must always exercise restraint and use no more force than is strictly necessary, proportionate and lawful in response to the violence they are facing,” said Luther. “Violence by a few individuals does not justify a widespread reckless response.”
As of Nov. 17, more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested since the demonstrations began, which have also caused authorities to shut off Internet access for Iranians.
“Shutting down communications over the Internet is a systematic assault on the right to freedom of expression and suggests that the authorities have something to hide,” said Luther. “Iranian authorities must immediately lift all restrictions on access to the internet and social media to allow people to share information and freely express their opinions.”