Protesters organized by the Iranian state group call for execution of thugs

A police motorcycle burns during a protest after a woman died after being arrested by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” in Tehran, Iran, September 19, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

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DUBAI, Sept 23 (Reuters) – State-organized demonstrations took place in several Iranian cities on Friday against anti-government protests over the death of a woman in police custody, with some marchers calling for executions thug.

The protests came after the authorities issued their strongest warning yet, when the army told the Iranians that it would confront the “enemy” behind the unrest – a move that could herald the kind of crackdown that has crushed protests in the past.

Demonstrators denounced anti-government protesters as “Israeli soldiers”, state television broadcast live. They also chanted “Death to America” ​​and “Death to Israel,” common slogans used by the country’s civilian rulers to try to stoke support for the authorities.

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“Those who violate the Koran must be executed,” the crowd chanted.

Iranians staged mass demonstrations over the case of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died last week after being arrested by morality police for wearing “inappropriate clothing”.

Amini’s death has reignited anger over Iran’s restrictions on personal freedoms, strict dress codes for women and an economy teetering on sanctions.

On Friday, the Iranian army issued the harshest warning yet from authorities to protesters angered by the deaths.

“These desperate actions are part of the enemy’s nefarious strategy to weaken the Islamic regime,” it said.

The military said it would “confront the various conspiracies of the enemy to ensure the safety and peace of those who have been unjustly attacked.”

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Allawi also warned “demagogues” on Friday that their “dreams of defeating religious values ​​and great achievements of the revolution will never come true,” according to the Asir Iran website.

The protests were particularly intense in and around Amini’s hometown of Kurdistan. State television said two shipments of weapons, explosives and communications equipment were seized and two people were arrested in northwestern Iran, including the home of Kurdish dissident armed groups along the border with Iraq.

Iran’s civilian rulers fear a resurgence of protests that erupted in 2019 over rising gasoline prices, the bloodiest in Iranian history. Reuters reported that 1,500 people were killed.

Protesters in Tehran and other cities burned police stations and vehicles during the latest unrest, as anger over Amini’s death showed no sign of abating, with reports of attacks on security forces.

Iranian media reported on Thursday that 288 thugs had been arrested.

In Madrid, four topless activists from the Femen women’s movement protested Amini’s death in front of the Iranian embassy on Friday, holding up signs reading “Women, life, freedom” and “Martha Amini assassinated” ‘ slogan.

The protests went on peacefully and no arrests were made.

In Athens, angry protesters demonstrating over Amini’s death tried to approach the Iranian embassy on Thursday but were pushed back by shield-wielding police. Demonstrators chanted slogans and held placards that read “Homophobic and sexist killings.”

Canada and the Netherlands also held protests over Amini’s death on Thursday.

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Reporting in Dubai Newsroom; Writing by Michael Georgy, Editing by Alex Richardson, Angus MacSwan, William Maclean

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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