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Iran says 40 foreigners arrested for taking part in anti-government protests

A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amini, an Iranian girl who died after being arrested in Tehran by the vice police of the Islamic Republic, at Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022.

Ozan Kose | AFP | Getty Images

Iran’s justice spokesman reportedly said on Tuesday that 40 foreign nationals had been arrested for participating in recent anti-regime protests.

Those whose nationality has not been revealed were arrested in accordance with Iranian laws, Iranian judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said during a regular press briefing, state media Mehr News reported.

As Iran enters its ninth week of public unrest following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, the country’s Revolutionary Court last week handed down its first round of death sentences for their role in one of the biggest sustained challenges to the Iranian regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had, at the start of the protest, accused foreign “enemies” of orchestrating what he called “riots”.

At the end of September, nine Europeans from France, Sweden, Italy, Germany among others were arrested by the Iranian government for their involvement in the demonstrations.

Two weeks ago, Iran’s judiciary announced that 1,024 indictments had been issued in relation to the protests in Tehran alone, according to human rights organization Amnesty International. Of these, 21 detainees were charged with security-related offenses carrying the death penalty.

Uprisings against the regime erupted two months ago when Amini, 22, who was arrested by the country’s ‘morals police’ for breaking Iran’s strict rules on wearing the hijab, died in detention after suffering multiple blows to the head. Iranian authorities claimed she died of a heart attack, but her family and many Iranians accuse the government of a cover-up.

Iran currently holds the second place for the highest number of recorded executions, behind China.

At least 378 people have been killed in the nationwide protests, according to the Norwegian non-governmental organization Iran Human Rights.


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