The Iranian regime confirmed on state television Tuesday morning that security forces shot and killed what it described as “rioters” during protests that shook multiple cities across the Islamic Republic in recent weeks.
The report was the first time the government has taken responsibility for killing unarmed protesters in the streets since the demonstrations began. The protests began in November in response to skyrocketing gas prices, corruption, and some protesters even called for the end of the regime.
Iran cracked down hard by shutting down the internet to keep Iranians cut off from the outside world and to ensure the international community does not see photos or videos about the protests.
Amnesty International reported that Iranian authorities have killed at least 208 people, but said the “real figure is likely to be higher.”
“We’ve seen over 200 people killed in a very swift time, in under a week,” said Mansoureh Mills, a researcher at Amnesty. “It’s something pretty unprecedented event in the history of the human rights violations in the Islamic Republic.”
The true death toll is largely unknown due to Iran’s crackdown on information leaving the country.
Iran’s Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Amnesty International’s death toll is “sheer lies,” but did not provide any evidence to support his claim.
“Real statistics are seriously different from what they announce and numbers are far less than what they claim,” he said.
Click here to read more.