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The U.N. human rights office voiced deep concern on Tuesday at the Iranian security forces’ use of live ammunition and killing of protesters in Iran and urged authorities to rein in its use of force to disperse protests sparked by a hike in fuel prices.
“We are deeply concerned by reported violations of international norms and standards on the use of force, including the firing of live ammunition, against demonstrators in Iran”, Mr. Colville said. “It would suggest that it is not simply the immediate trigger to the protest, which was a rise in fuel prices, but…much deeper-seated problems persisting in the country.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei backed gasoline price increases today, calling the protesters “hooligans.” He openly ordered for a decisive crackdown on the protesters and instructed the security forces to act in line of their “duties.”
Khamenei also blamed opponents of the Iranian regime and foreign enemies for “sabotage,” state television reported.
He described those setting fire to public property during the protests as “bandits” backed by the enemies of Iran, without elaborating.
“Some people are no doubt worried by this decision … but sabotage and arson is done by hooligans not our people. The counter-revolution and Iran’s enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security and continue to do so,” he said, according to state TV.
Khamenei said the increase in gasoline prices was based on expert opinion and should be implemented, but he called on officials to prevent hikes in prices of other goods.
Iran’s security forces have shot dead at least eight protesters and wounded over a dozen more as protests erupted across the country over a hike in gasoline prices.
On Friday evening, the state security forces opened fire on a demonstration in Sirjan (south-central Iran), killing at least one protester and wounding many protesters. Ruhollah Nazari Fath abad was shot in the head at the Naft (Oil) Square, outside the city’s oil depot and instantly died, reports indicate.
The governor of the city of Sirjan, 800 kilometers southeast of the capital, Tehran, said on November 16 that the demonstrator was killed under unclear circumstances and that several others were injured.
Officials in the northern city of Kelardasht in Mazandaran Province say 13 young men and women were arrested Thursday in a “mixed-gender night party”, according to the state-run Fars news agency.
Fars known to be affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said six women and seven men were arrested in a night party where alcohol was being served but didn’t provide further details on those arrested.
Drinking alcohol and attending parties of unrelated men and women is illegal in Iran.
The regime does not recognize or respect Iranian’s right to privacy and mobilizes all its forces to crack down on civil liberties.
Hundreds of people have been detained in private mixed gender parties over the past year.
In late October, the Iranian authorities arrested 15 men and women at a mixed-gender party at the Iranian island of Qeshm.