Around 50 police have been killed in protests that have rocked Iran since September, the deputy foreign minister said on Thursday, giving the first official death toll as crackdowns in Kurdish areas intensified in recent days. .
Iranian security forces have clashed with protesters across the country, and the United Nations human rights commission said more than 300 protesters had died since the death in custody of 22-year-old Kurd Mahsa Amini. , on September 16.
UN chief Volker Turk said Iran faced a “full-fledged human rights crisis”, with 14,000 people arrested so far, including children. He was speaking ahead of a special session in Geneva to consider setting up a fact-finding group.
“About 50 policemen were killed during the protests and hundreds were injured,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, who is also Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, said in an interview with Indian television.
He did not comment on the number of protesters killed, but said the Interior Ministry had formed a panel to investigate the deaths.
Protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, after she was detained by the morality police for attire deemed inappropriate under Iran’s strict Islamic dress code, quickly spread across the country. The demand focuses on women’s rights, but protesters also call for the ouster of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
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