Tuesday, 15 February 2011

One shot dead by Iranian security forces during protests

On Monday 14th February, thousands of anti-government protestors took to the streets in Tehran, chanting: "Death to dictators". Reports have emerged that one man was killed during the demonstrations when security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds.

Iranian human rights activists confirmed the fatality, and said several more people were injured during the clashes. Days ahead of the rally, two Iranian opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, were put under arrest. Speaking from his home in Tehran, Mousavi said the protests showed that the Green Movement, formed to challenge the disputed 2009 election, has secured a “great victory” and was “alive and well” despite a huge government crackdown.

The authorities refused to issue a permit for the demonstrations, speaking about it Moussavi's aide, Amir Arjomand said: “If the government had issued a permit and guaranteed the safety of the people there would certainly have been millions of people out in Tehran and other cities.”

The unrest is a great embarrassment to the Iranian government, who has shown that it will not hesitate to stifle it with deadly force. Breaking an official silence on the events, the semi-official State news agency Fars quotes government sources as saying that the demonstrations had been conducted by “hypocrites, monarchists, hooligans and seditionists” whose leaders were puppets of Britain and the US.

Speaking about events in Iran, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed support for the thousands of people who took part in the protests. She said they deserved to have "the same rights that they saw being played out in Egypt" and that there “needs to be a commitment to open up the political system in Iran”.

Sources: BBC News, New York Times, AP, Sky News

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment