Iran Daily: Regime — 400 Protesters Still Detained

Sanu Qahremani, a protester who died in custody in late December or early January

Iran’s judiciary says 400 protesters are still detained, 18 days after demonstrations over political and economic issues spread across the Islamic Republic.

Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said on Sunday that 25 people were killed during the protests. He claimed that none of them were shot by security forces because “they were ordered not to use their weapons”.

Mohseni Ejei portrayed the detainees as “people who took commands from abroad and were leaders of the recent riots”, claiming the US and “Zionists” “sought to harm the Islamic establishment”.

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said 440 “arrested rioters” had been released from detention facilities in Tehran alone in recent days.

Activists and relatives have warned that some of the protesters could be facing abuse behind bars. Up to five detainees have died in custody, with Iranian authorities claiming that all are suicides.

Among those seized are 14 members of a Tehran University student committee.

On Friday, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Asma Jahangir, said she has again been refused entry into Iran.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. He claimed that none of them were shot by security forces because “they were ordered not to use their weapons”.

    In the 2009 protests, police in Tehran were allowed to fire their guns at rioters using rubber-coated bullets aimed at the lower part of the body (like the legs) – this is never fatal unless the head is targeted (Israeli troops in the West Bank routinely disregard this practise). However, outside of Tehran, riot police would not be issued with rubber-coated bullets, but only with live ammo. Claiming that not one of those killed in the recent unrest was shot by a policeman – allowing for the presence and actions of agents provocateurs – is a little incredulous.If rioters tried to seize government buildings , or set fire to police stations, then they can’t be expected to not be fired at.

  2. Iranian rial continues to weaken agains the dollar. Now at 44,000

    “The US dollar’s rally saw it rise to all-time highs against the Iranian rial on several occasions during the past weeks when it finally crossed 44,000.”

    The weak rial is good for exports and for tourists. It also means that the government gets more for its oils aales. But it will hurt farmers and importers reliant on raw materials, feedstock and parts, pushing prices up and fuelling inflation. If Trump ends waivers in May, the rial could collapse without government intervention.

  3. Pro-government demonstrations by Iranians in the UK:

    “We are behind our Leader”, “Long Live Khamanei”, and “Down with the MKO”, were some of the slogans chanted by the demonstrators.

    MKO activists had held a demonstration outside the UK embassy in London a few days earlier. [Ed. — This is Fars’ spin. According to first-hand reports, the demonstration included a range of participants, with clashes between MKO supporters and monarchists.]

    • Maybe. London has a diverse Iranian community. But the MKO never misses an opportunity to stage a rally or protest. Some of us know people who been first-hand victims of MKO violence. In 2003 they attacked a mosque used by Iranian students on government scholarships in Manchester (UK) and in 2009 they did so again.


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