Iran protests: President Raisi  to ‘deal decisively’ with protest over woman’s death

Mr Raisi has dismissed the protests as “riots”. Iran, he said, must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity”.

President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to “deal decisively” with the protests, which have now spread to most of Iran’s 31 provinces.

Officials say some 35 people have been killed since protests broke out over the death of a woman in police custody. 

Mahsa Amini died after being detained for allegedly breaking headscarf rules. 

Officers reportedly beat Ms Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles. The police have said there is no evidence of any mistreatment and that she suffered “sudden heart failure”.

A photo purporting to show Mahsa Amini on a ventilator has been circulating on social media.

And while Mr Raisi says her death will be investigated, his Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has insisted that Ms Amini had not been beaten.

Amnesty International has warned that evidence it gathered pointed to “a harrowing pattern of Iranian security forces deliberately and unlawfully firing live ammunition at protesters”. 

It added that government forces shot 19 people dead – including three children – on Wednesday night alone. The BBC cannot independently verify this. 

Hundreds of people have been detained by security forces, with the police chief in the north-western province of Guilan announcing on Saturday that some 739 people – including 60 women – have been detained in his region alone. The BBC has heard testimony from some of those arrested who allege they were beaten. One said he was beaten “ruthlessly” before being jailed in a small cell with hundreds of others, where they were deprived of food, water and access to a bathroom. “ Government forces have also launched a crackdown on independent media and activists. The US-based media watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists says 11 journalists have been detained since Monday. 

BBC

BBC And VOA and New York Times