©Health & Fitness Journal. FILE PHOTO: A newspaper with a cover photo of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by Iran’s Morality Police, is seen September 18, 2022 in Tehran, Iran. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS/File Photo
DUBAI (Health & Fitness Journal) – Videos on social media showing Iranian security forces severely beating protesters have gone viral as anger mounts at a widening crackdown of arrests of prominent figures from rappers to economists and lawyers aimed at to end seven weeks of unrest.
Protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in Morality Police custody on September 16, after she was arrested for inappropriate dress, have rocked Iran’s religious establishment, with people from all walks of life calling for sweeping political change.
The nationwide demonstrations demanding the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pose one of the boldest challenges facing Iran’s rulers since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Amini case and the crackdown on protests after her death led to international condemnation of the Iranian rulers.
Iranian leaders, meanwhile, have blamed the United States and other Western powers for the crisis, a tale few Iranians believe.
Khamenei on Wednesday said US officials supporting protests were “shameless,” state media reported.
“Anyone who thinks the US is an untouchable power is wrong,” Khamenei said. “It is completely vulnerable, as current events show.”
Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Saleh Jokar said Iranians living abroad who provoke “riots” at home should have their citizenship revoked.
Despite a sharp warning from the head of the widely feared elite Revolutionary Guard, Iranians have risked their lives and arrest by staying on the streets despite a bloody crackdown.
An Oct. 22 video that went viral on social media showed a dozen riot police beating a man on a street in southern Tehran at night. One of the officers on a motorcycle ran him over, then another shot him at point-blank range. Health & Fitness Journal could not verify the authenticity of the footage.
“This shocking video broadcast from Tehran today is another horrifying reminder that the cruelty of Iranian security forces knows no bounds,” Amnesty International said on Twitter about the October 22 video.
“In the midst of a crisis of impunity, they are free to brutally beat and shoot protesters. @UN_HRC urgently needs to investigate these crimes.”
Other videos of beatings on protesters, which Health & Fitness Journal was unable to verify, have also circulated online.
Iranian police issued a communiqué on Tuesday saying that a special order had been issued to investigate the details of a video showing police officers beating a citizen, without giving details of the video in question.
“The police do not condone harsh and unconventional treatment, the offending police officers will certainly be treated according to the law,” the statement said, according to Tasnim news agency.
The activist news agency HRANA said around 300 people were killed in the riots, including 46 minors. Iran said at least 36 members of the security forces were also killed.
About 14,160 people, including about 300 students, were arrested during protests in 133 cities and 129 universities, it said.
The crisis has hit the Iranian currency. The US dollar was sold for as much as 342,600 riyals on the unofficial market on Wednesday, losing almost 7% of its value since the protests began, according to Bonbast.com.
On Monday evening, security forces went to the home of prominent economist Davoud Souri and arrested him. Officers took his laptop and mobile phone and, after his arrest, informed his family that he was in Evin prison, according to a social media post that Health & Fitness Journal could not verify.
Iranian media on Wednesday released video of the arrest of famous Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, showing him blindfolded and saying he didn’t mean what he had said in earlier comments critical of the authorities.
He was arrested after releasing several rap clips in support of the protests.