Iran illegally arrested students who did not take part in protests: Iranian MP
Iranian authorities illegally arrested students during their crackdown on recent anti-government demonstrations despite them not having taken part in the protests, said an Iranian MP on Monday.
“The arrest of students who were not present at the protests but were arrested as part of a preventive measure must be investigated as it has no legal basis whatsoever,” MP Mahmoud Sadeghi told the semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).
Between 40 to 50 students were arrested from the University of Tehran during the first week of protests, according to the Iranian Students’ Union.
The unrest began on November 15 after Tehran announced gasoline price hikes. The protests quickly turned political, with demonstrators demanding the removal of top leaders as security forces brutally cracked down on the demonstrations.
Sadeghi called out the Iranian government’s handling of the situation, saying that the “right” way to deal with the people’s anger is to “convince the people and provide justifications” for government decisions.
According to Sadeghi, who represents a Tehran constituency, Iranian MPs did not have “permission” to discuss the government’s decision to increase fuel prices in parliament.
Sadeghi also warned the government that if it does not release an official death toll for the protests, MPs will release “the statistics available based on the people’s reports.” Iran is yet to release an official death toll, but opposition groups have put it in the hundreds, as Iranian security forces cracked down on demonstrators in cities across the country.
“Warning to officials! If the relevant authorities do not provide the exact statistics of those killed, injured and arrested, MPs will have to release the statistics available based on the people’s reports,” tweeted Sadeghi.