Iran’s judiciary promises to deal firmly with protesters

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Iran’s courts will deal firmly with anyone who causes disruptions or commits crimes during the ongoing wave of anti-government protests, the judiciary said on Tuesday.

One of the biggest challenges to Iran’s clerical leaders since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the seven-week-old demonstrations have persisted despite a deadly crackdown and severe warnings from security forces.

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More than 1,000 people have been indicted in connection with what the government calls “riots.”

“Now, the public, even protesters who are not supportive of riots, demand from the judiciary and security institutions to deal with the few people who have caused disturbances in a firm, deterrent and legal manner,” judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said.

Anti-government demonstrations erupted in September after the death of a Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by morality police for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code imposed on women.

The activist HRANA news agency said that 318 protesters had been killed in the unrest as of Saturday, including 49 minors. Thirty-eight members of the security forces had also been killed, it said.

State media said last month that more than 46 members of the security forces, including police officers, had been killed. Government officials have not provided an estimate of any wider death count.

Iranian leaders have accused enemies including the United States of fomenting the unrest. Hardline Iranian lawmakers have urged the judiciary to “deal decisively” with the perpetrators.

People from all walks of life have taken part in the protests, with students and women playing a prominent role, waving and burning headscarves.

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