Iran protests: Lawmakers demand ‘no leniency’ for protesters as mass demonstrations continue


Iranian lawmakers have called on the country’s judiciary to “show no leniency” to protesters in a letter quoted by state-run Press TV on Sunday, as thousands of people continue to gather in the streets despite the threat of arrest.

The Islamic Republic is facing one of the largest and unprecedented demonstrations of dissent following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman detained by the morality police allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly.

In an open letter signed by 227 of Iran’s 290 members of parliament, Press TV reports that lawmakers are calling for protesters to be taught a “good lesson” to deter others who threaten the Iranian government’s authority.

“We, the representatives of this nation, call on all government officials, including the judiciary, to treat those who waged war (against the Islamic establishment) and attacked people’s lives and property as Daesh (terrorists) in a manner that would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time,” read the letter, according to state-run Press TV.

Lawmakers added that such punishment – the methods of which were not specified – would “prove to everyone that life, property, safety and honor of our dear people is a red line for this (Islamic) establishment and that it would show no leniency. to anyone in this regard.”

Iran has charged at least 1,000 people in Tehran province for their alleged involvement in the nationwide protests over Amini’s death, the biggest show of dissent in years, state news agency IRNA has reported. Their trials are public and have been ongoing for more than a week.

Norway-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said in a report last Wednesday that dozens of protesters face charges including “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth” that carry the death penalty.

The letter from the members of parliament also reiterates previous Iranian government claims that the ongoing protests – which it calls riots – were incited by the US and other enemies of Iran. Iran’s government has not provided evidence to support its claims of foreign involvement in the protest movement.

Top UN official Javaid Rehman told the UN Security Council last week that as many as 14,000 people, including journalists, activists, lawyers and educators, had been arrested since protests broke out in Iran in mid-September.

Rehman, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, said the “unabated violent response of the security forces” had caused at least 277 deaths.

CNN cannot independently verify the arrest or death toll — exact figures are impossible for anyone outside the Iranian government to confirm — and varying estimates have been provided by opposition groups, international rights organizations and local journalists.

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