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Iranian crackdown intensifies

The UN has called for "independent, impartial and transparent processes of investigation" into repression and human rights violations
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PHOTO/AFP  -   According to Iran Human Rights, at least 416 people, including 51 children, have been killed by the Iranian authorities

Protests continue in Iran more than two months after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. As the demonstrations continue, police violence and the number of deaths has increased. According to Iran Human Rights, at least 416 people, including 51 children, have been killed by the Iranian authorities. As has been the case since the wave of protests began, the province of Sistan and Baluchistan, as well as the Kurdistan region, continue to be the areas where most deaths have been recorded. 

In this regard, the Norway-based organisation warns that in addition to "the crime of using live ammunition against protesters across the country", the authorities have also "systematically and disproportionately killed defenceless people in the ethnic Baloch and Kurdish regions". Iran Human Rights recalls that this "amounts to crimes against humanity" and calls once again on the international community to take action.

Due to the flagrant human rights violations committed by the regime's authorities and multiple demands from Iranians around the world, the United Nations has finally approved the opening of investigative processes in the country. The UN Human Rights Council has called for "independent, impartial and transparent processes of investigation" into the authorities' repression. Within the UN body, 25 countries voted in favour of initiating such processes and six against - Armenia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan and Venezuela - while 16 abstained.  

Western diplomats have assured that these investigations will hold those responsible "accountable", although Iran predictably dismissed the resolution as "an arrogant political ploy".

Meanwhile, the authorities and security forces under the Revolutionary Guard continue to use violence and torture against protesters. Since the protests began, they have seen their power increase and, in fact, analysts say the country is on the road to becoming a military dictatorship. Fatallah Nejad, an Iranian-German political scientist quoted by Al-Arab, points out that the Revolutionary Guard is doing everything possible to maintain its total control in Iran.  

To deal with the protests, the Revolutionary Guard has deployed Basij militia units across the country. The authorities have reported the deaths of several Basij members since the demonstrations began. In fact, according to Tasnim news agency, a Basij militiaman was killed this week in Kurdistan.

This wave of protests is putting the Iranian regime on the ropes, a target of criticism from all sectors of society. Lawyers, singers and even sports have spoken out against the government, which has responded by taking legal action. The latest to be arrested is footballer Voria Ghafouri, accused of "insulting and undermining the national football team" and "propaganda"

In this regard, the Iranian national team also showed its rejection of the regime during the World Cup. Before their first match against England, the players chose not to sing the anthem, although they did sing it in the second match. Nevertheless, boos against the national symbol continued to be heard from the stands.