• Monday, Oct 03, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Iran rejects as 'lies' unrest death tolls given abroad

  • Published at 12:52 pm December 3rd, 2019
Iranians holding national flags and pictures of the Islamic republic's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, take part a pro-government demonstration in the capital Tehran's central Enghelab Square on November 25, 2019, to condemn days of "rioting"that Iran blames on its foreign foes AFP

The official announcement of calling a fresh session of the legislature will give the minority government of Rajapaksa more control over parliamentary oversight committees

Iran on Tuesday rejected as "utter lies" unofficial casualty figures given for street violence that erupted last month during demonstrations against a shock decision to hike fuel prices.

Protests erupted in Iran on November 15 after the announcement that petrol prices were going up by as much as 200% with immediate effect.

Banks and petrol stations were torched and shops looted in the violence which was quickly quashed by authorities who also imposed a week-long near-total internet blackout.

"I explicitly announce that the numbers and figures that are being given by hostile groups are utter lies and the statistics have serious differences with what they announced," Iran's judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said.

"They announced some numbers as well as some names. Their claimed numbers are sheer lies and fabricated," he said, in remarks aired on state television.

"The names they have given are also lies," Esmaili said, adding that they included people who were still alive and others who passed away normally.

The authorities have not yet given any overall death toll for the unrest.

'Tough confrontation'

London-based human rights group Amnesty International said on Monday that at least 208 people were killed in the crackdown.

"The number of people believed to have been killed during demonstrations in Iran that broke out on 15 November has risen to at least 208, based on credible reports received by the organisation," it said.

Amnesty, whose previous death toll was 161, added that the actual number of people killed was likely to have been higher.

Esmaili accused foreign organisations and media of spreading "propaganda" and being behind the killings.

The judiciary spokesman said 300 people arrested over the unrest were still in custody in Tehran, without giving a country-wide figure.

Many had already been released after they were found to have been innocent, he added.

"We as the judiciary branch in no way consider as thugs or rioters those who took to the streets to merely voice their objections, even though they didn't have a legal permit for their street gatherings," he said.

His remarks came after state television said on Monday night that Iranian security forces had no choice but to resort to "tough confrontation" when the violence broke out.

It also rejected reports in foreign media that had been "hyping up" the number of people killed.

"The security forces had no choice but to resort to authoritative and tough confrontation in order to save people from the hands of the rioters, and a number of rioters were killed," the report said.

'Thugs and rioters'

The broadcaster said "thugs and rioters" had attacked sensitive sites, including military bases, with firearms and machetes and "in some areas had taken people hostage."

It said the incidents occurred in the cities of Bandar Mahshahr, Fardis, Malard, Sadra, Sirjan, Shahriar and Shahr-e Qods.

The report categorized those who died in the unrest as "thugs and rioters", the security forces, passers-by and peaceful protesters.

The governments of the United States, France and Germany have condemned Iran over the bloodshed.

The unrest started hours after it was announced that the price of petrol would rise from 10,000 rials per litre to 15,000 for the first 60 litres, and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.

Iran's economy has been battered since last year, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear agreement and reimposed crippling sanctions.

The government said proceeds from the fuel price hike would go to the most needy people in the country.

State news agency IRNA said the payments had since been made in three instalments between November 18 and 23.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail