Authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran have upped the ante by voting to impose harsh penalties on arrested protesters as the wave of anti-government demonstrations shows no signs of stopping after nearly 60 days.
Chaotic scenes of protests, accompanied by sounds of gunfire and chants of “death to the dictator”, emerged from the city of Marivan in Iran’s western Kurdistan province on Sunday.
The Marivan protests were triggered by the death of 35-year-old student Nasrin Ghaderi, who died after being attacked by security forces during a demonstration, Deutsche Welle reported.
This is just one in a wave of demonstrations that have continued around the country since the 16 September death of Jîna (Mahsa) Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was reportedly fatally injured during an arrest by the country’s notorious morality police.
Iranian state media reported that Amini and Ghaderi both died from pre-existing medical conditions unrelated to their arrest.
But the number of protesters killed by security forces rose to 318 over the weekend, Reuters reported, citing the HRANA news agency.
Meanwhile, 227 lawmakers from the country’s 290-seat parliament urged the country’s judiciary to “deal decisively” with arrested protesters, Reuters said.
The statement showed no sign that lawmakers are willing to change course from the harsh response to protests which are still a daily occurrence in many parts of the country.
Social media accounts of activists and protesters have continued to publish images of both crowds and individuals engaging in protests or calling on Iran’s theocratic government to step down.
The protests have raged on in numerous universities around the country, and strike actions have also taken place in Sistan-Baluchistan and in the country’s western mainly Kurdish provinces, Mezopotamya news agency reported.