EU slams use of force against protesters in Iran
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The European Union on Sunday condemned the “unjustifiable” and “unacceptable” use of violence against protesters in Iran as demonstrations against Mahsa (Zhina) Amini’s death continue to engulf the country.
Mass demonstrations have been held across the provinces of Iran over the past week, protesting the controversial circumstances surrounding Amini’s death. Scores of protesters have been reportedly killed and many others have been injured due to the violent crackdowns of Iranian security forces.
“The widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors is unjustifiable and unacceptable,” read a statement from the EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell, adding “people in Iran, as anywhere else, have the right to peaceful protest. That right must be ensured in all circumstances.”
According to the latest tally sent to Rudaw English by the Paris-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), at least 17 people have been killed, over 400 people wounded, and at least 570 arrested over the past week in Iran’s Kurdish areas (Rojhelat).
Borrell urged Iran to refrain from applying violent approaches against the protestors and ensure access to internet services in the country in accordance with the principles of the 1966 international human rights treaty.
Iran shut down internet access as Amini’s protest grew across the country, aiming to prevent demonstrations from being organized through social media platforms.
The EU policy chief urged a thorough investigation into Amini’s death while urging for accountability to those responsible for the deadly protests crackdown.
Amini was arrested by Iran’s so-called morality police for allegedly wearing the hijab in an improper manner. She died in police custody hours later, with authorities claiming that the cause of death was a heart attack, while human rights activists and witnesses say she was beaten in the police van.
By Zheen Saman.