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Amnesty Accuses Iran of Abusing Jailed Protesters
Pedestrians in Shahriar, west of Tehran, are shown on November 20 walking past a bank torched during anti-government protests. (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

Amnesty Accuses Iran of Abusing Jailed Protesters

The human rights group Amnesty International is accusing Iran of “rape, torture and other ill-treatment” of people detained during a period of civil unrest last fall. In a report published on Wednesday, the group said that security personnel killed at least 304 people, mostly by gunfire, during November 2019 protests that began over fuel price hikes but morphed into more general demonstrations against economic policies, adding, however, that the actual toll in human lives was “likely much higher.” Some opposition groups are claiming as many as 1,500 deaths, while Iranian officials have pegged the death toll at 225, including security personnel. As for those arrested, Amnesty says authorities employed “waterboarding, beating, flogging, electric shocks, pepper-spraying [of] genitals, sexual violence, mock executions, pulling out nails and solitary confinement, sometimes for weeks or even months,” noting that the detainees “included peaceful protesters and bystanders,” among them “schoolchildren as young as 10 years old….” Tehran says it arrested some 7,000 people during several days of violence that flared up again periodically over the following weeks.

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