Children among 16 killed in Iran protests, India Today verifies security forces opened fire

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Children among 16 killed in Iran protests, India Today verifies security forces opened fire
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The open-source intelligence (OSINT) team of India Today has verified Twitter videos posted by Amnesty Iran, claiming that security personnel opened fire on the protesters from the rooftop of the governor’s office in Iran’s Khash city.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Nov 9, 2022 17:04 IST

Protests in Iran's Khash

Protests against the Iranian regime in Khash city were scattered after security forces opened fire. (Screengrab)

By Bidisha Saha, Dipti Yadav: At least 16 people were killed on Friday, November 4, after security forces opened fire on protesters in Iran’s Khash city, located in the Sistan and Baluchistan province, stated a report by Iran Human Rights — an Oslo-based non-profit organisation. The incident is now being called ‘Bloody Friday’.

So far, more than 304 people have been killed in the ongoing nationwide demonstrations in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. She was detained by the “morality police” for “inappropriate attire” on September 16.

Last month, a report by Amnesty International, a global observer of human rights, stated that 16 per cent of the overall deaths of protesters and bystanders are children. Most of them were killed because of the unlawful firing of live ammunition by security forces.

In a shocking video published by the Twitter handle of Amnesty Iran, security forces are seen firing live bullets at protesters from the rooftop of the governor’s office. The protesters were marching from a mosque in Zahedan to the governor’s house building in Khash.

“The crackdown is feared to have left up to 10 people, including children, dead and dozens more injured,” says Amnesty on its Twitter handle. It further goes on to express concern about the “bloodshed amid internet disruptions and reports of authorities bringing more security forces to Khash from Zahedan”.

INDIA TODAY INVESTIGATION

The open-source intelligence (OSINT) team of India Today independently investigated the footage posted by Amnesty Iran to geolocate the building seen in the video. The script in the latter half, written in Persian, matches the exact location on Google Maps. Thus, verifying that gunshots were fired by security officials from the rooftop of the government administration office in Khash.

The second video posted by Iran News which surfaced on the same day shows the demonstrators marching from a mosque that has been identified as Makki Grand Mosque in Zahedan.

The mosque noticed in the third video posted of the protest by Iran International is identified as Alkhalil Central Mosque in Khash.

A recently tweeted video by Iran Wire captures the “chaotic” condition outside the Khash City Hospital after the incident.

The previous report from Amnesty also discloses the details of 23 children between 11 to 17 years of age, who were victims of live bullets, metal pellets, and fatal beatings by Iran’s security forces. However, these are just the number of recorded deaths, but the real death toll of minors is higher.

Islam Maulana Abdul Hamid, a leading Sunni cleric, issued a statement on November 5, strongly condemning the “bloody crime” in the city of Khash. Calling for an internationally monitored referendum, he said, “By killing, beating, and arresting, you cannot push back a nation that has been protesting in the streets for 50 days now.”

The administration is continuously attempting to use violence to quell the unrest.





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