Iran protests: Dozens killed as uprising spreads to entire country
Tehran, Iran - A total of 41 people have been killed since the start of protests in Iran triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody, Iranian national broadcaster IRIB reported on Sunday.
The protests continued through the night into the early hours of Sunday, according to the report, with videos circulating on social media showing demonstrators in Tehran and other parts of the country. It was not possible to independently verify the footage.
According to eyewitnesses in the capital, security forces are turning more and more violent, with people returning the favor. Security forces were cracking down on demonstrators more aggressively and gunfire could increasingly be heard, they said.
Meanwhile, younger protestors in particular were responding by damaging public buildings, setting cars and dumpsters on fire, and beating up police officers.
Demonstrators also chanted slogans like "Death to the dictator," "This is the year of bloodshed," and "We'd rather die than continue to endure humiliation."
Protests erupted after Mahsa Amini fell into a coma and died in hospital days after she was arrested on September 13 for not covering herself according to the country's strict Islamic dress code. It is unclear what caused her death, but there is strong suspicion of wrongdoing by the morality police.
Iran's Interior Ministry said insists that they were not to blame, claiming that the young woman just died of heart failure at the police station.
Since Amini's death, hundreds of thousands of people have been demonstrating across the country against the government, with hundreds arrested so far.
Cover photo: via REUTERS