Report: Iran Is Killing Protesters

Amnesty International says at least 106 are dead
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2019 2:02 PM CST

Amnesty International says at least 106 people have died in Iran amid protests over rising fuel prices—and the number could easily be double that, the AP reports. A mix of video footage, eyewitness testimony, and information from activists reveals that Iranian security forces have "used excessive and lethal force to crush largely peaceful protests in more than 100 cities," Amnesty says in a statement. "Video footage shows security forces using firearms, water cannons, and tear gas to disperse protests and beating demonstrators with batons. Images of bullet casings left on the ground afterwards, as well as the resulting high death toll, indicate that they used live ammunition." A UN human-rights office says it is "deeply concerned" by the reports.

Economic tensions have roiled Iran since President Trump began imposing sanctions in 2017, causing prices to rise, currency to fall, and setting off food and medical shortages, per CNN. Then the government boosted fuel prices in a country where low pump prices are considered nearly a "birthright," per the AP; the 50% increase, to roughly 50 cents a gallon, sparked nationwide unrest on Friday. Officials said the move was justified by the need for economic changes, including higher revenue and reduced domestic energy use, per the Guardian, but the price increase sparked protests that snarled traffic in major cities. Now demonstrators are apparently being arrested and shot as they try to organize amid an Internet shutdown imposed by the government on Saturday. (More Iran stories.)

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