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Iran: Protesters defy crackdown, call for toppling of Islamic Republic

The protests were supposed to end Saturday, as far as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was concerned. It didn’t work out that way.

“Iranian Protesters Call for Death of Iran’s Top Leader as Demonstrations Grow,” Reuters, October 28, 2022:

DUBAI (Reuters)—Iranians kept up protests calling for the toppling of the Islamic Republic on Friday, as activists posted videos of crowds demanding the death of the supreme leader and the widely feared Basij militia he unleashed against them.

Iran has been gripped by protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody last month.

They have turned into a popular revolt by furious Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.

Video footage on social media showed protesters calling for the death of “dictator” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Basij, which has played a major role in the crackdown on demonstrators.

Commentary on the video said it was recorded on Friday in the city of Zahedan, close to Iran‘s southeastern border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The activist 1500tasvir Twitter account posted the video showing demonstrators chanting “Death to Khamenei”. Another video purported to show a 12-year-old protester who was shot in the head….

On Thursday, a provincial security council dismissed Zahedan’s police chief and the head of a police station near where dozens of protesters were killed four weeks ago in the deadliest crackdown since the start of nationwide protests.

The council said the families of the victims would be compensated and a legal investigation had been opened that may lead to further measures against those who provoked the violence, “rioters” and any officials suspected of wrongdoing.

CALL FOR JUSTICE

Zahedan’s top Sunni cleric in predominantly Shi’ite Iran welcomed the move but called for an independent investigation of the killings and said any senior officials behind the crackdown should be brought to justice.

“We demand from the security council and the government that, regardless of how high in the ranks this error and crime reaches, the (guilty) official should be dismissed and brought to trial,” Molavi Abdolhamid said in a Friday prayers sermon, according to his website.

Amnesty International has said security forces killed at least 66 people in the violent crackdown on Sept. 30….

The provincial security council has said armed dissidents had provoked the clashes, leading to innocent people’s deaths, but admitted “shortcomings” by police.

One person was shot dead, by “unidentified individuals” and 14 people, including security forces, were injured in Zahedan, the council said, according to state media.

Videos posted by 1500tasvir showed what it said were protests in the northwestern city of Mahabad with demonstrators running away from what appeared to be tear gas fumes, while another video showed protesters making petrol bombs….

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