This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Iranian security forces continue to ratchet up their crackdown on protests across the country as they try to quell unrest sparked by last month’s death of a young woman while in police custody over how she was wearing a head scarf.
Demonstrations on October 13 took place in various cities after reports overnight that several people were killed in clashes with security forces in the country’s Kurdish regions.
The Hengaw rights group, which reports on these regions, called for international aid organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee of the Red Cross to be given access to the areas amid “intense violence” between protesters and security forces.
On October 13, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, a group that monitors Kurdish-inhabited areas of western Iran, announced the death of three protesters by security forces in the cities of Sanandaj and Kermanshah.
“At least 48 other protesters were injured in different cities and the condition of one person was reported to be critical,” the group added.
Amini’s death came three days after she was taken into custody after being detained by the so-called Morality Police.
Eyewitnesses say Amini, who was of Kurdish background, was beaten, while officials have said she died of illness, though they have not provided any evidence to back up their claim.
Again on October 13, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blamed the United States for the unrest, accusing Washington and its allies of resorting to “the failed policy of destabilization.”
Despite a near-total Internet shutdown by authorities, Iranians were still posting calls on social media for street protests with the aim of supporting people in the western Iranian city of Sanandaj after Iran’s security forces launched “an all-out military attack” on protesters.
In a video sent to RFERL’s Radio Farda, security agents could be seen violently beating a protester in Tehran.
Meanwhile, striking workers have been reported in several cities across the country in recent days, especially in southern areas where Iran’s oil industry is located, one of the few sectors of the economy able to bring in money for the government.
The Free Union of Iranian Workers announced on October 12, that more than 30 contract workers in the Asalouyeh petrochemical plants have been arrested by security forces for their protests.