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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Hundreds of Iranians Protest in the Country's Southeast

By VOA News November 11, 2022

Hundreds of Iranians took to the streets in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan Friday to mark the September 30 crackdown known as "Bloody Friday."

Videos sent to VOA's Persian Service showed demonstrators marching in the provincial capital, Zahedan. Videos also showed demonstrators in the city of Khash chanting slogans such as "Death to Khamenei" and "Death to the dictator," referencing Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

There were also reports of protests Friday in the cities of Chabahar, Rask, Pishin and Iranshahr.

The protesters expressed their anger over recent security crackdowns on demonstrators in the region.

Security forces killed at least 66 protesters in Zahedan on September 30, according to rights group Amnesty International. The protesters had taken to the streets over allegations that a police officer had raped a local teenager.

Security forces also cracked down on protesters again last week in Khash, according to Amnesty International, killing at least 18 protesters and bystanders.

The protests in Sistan-Baluchistan province began in September two weeks after demonstrations broke out across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, after she had been detained by the country's so-called morality police for not following the nation's strict dress code.

On Friday, Maulvi Abdul Hamid, Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah Zahedan, addressed the increased security presence in Zahedan while leading prayers.

"The armed forces should die for the people, not kill the people."

Also Friday, a group of independent U.N. rights experts called on Iranian authorities to stop indicting people on charges punishable by death for participating in protests.

"We urge Iranian authorities to stop using the death penalty as a tool to squash protests," more than a dozen U.N. rights experts said. The experts were appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council but do not speak for the United Nations.

In another development Friday, Britain's foreign minister summoned Iran's top diplomat in London regarding alleged threats to journalists living in Britain.

"We do not tolerate threats to life and intimidation of any kind towards journalists, or any individual, living in the U.K.," Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.

Cleverly did not identify the journalists; however, Volant Media, the London-based broadcaster that manages the Iran International TV channel said Monday that two of its journalists had received "death threats from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps."

VOA Persian contributed to this report. Some information in this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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