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Spain summons Iran ambassador over protests crackdown

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Spain summons Iran ambassador over protests crackdown
A picture obtained by AFP outside Iran shows people gathering during a protest for Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran on September 19, 2022. - Fresh protests broke out on September 19 in Iran over the death of a young woman who had been arrested by the "morality police" that enforces a strict dress code, local media reported. Public anger has grown since authorities on Friday announced the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in a hospital after three days in a coma, following her arrest by Tehran's morality police during a visit to the capital on September 13. (Photo by AFP)

Spain summoned the Iranian ambassador Wednesday to express its opposition to the heavy-handed crackdown on mass demonstrations across Iran that have claimed dozens of lives, a diplomatic source said.

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The protests erupted nearly two weeks ago over the death of a young Kurdish woman in custody who had allegedly fallen foul of Iran's strict rules on headscarves and modest clothing.

"The foreign ministry has summoned the Iranian ambassador in Madrid to express its objection over the repression of the protests and the violation of women's rights," the source said.

The woman, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was visiting Tehran with her family, died after receiving a "violent blow to the head," her cousin told AFP.

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In a statement, the ministry expressed Spain's "absolute condemnation" of the violence against peaceful demonstrators and in particular its "abhorrence of the violence against Iranian woman and their rights".

It urged the Iranian authorities to carry out "an independent investigation (into the bloodshed) and to establish responsibility in a transparent, objective and thorough manner" while "ending all arbitrary arrests" of journalists and other citizens exercising their civic freedoms.

Despite the fact the crackdown has drawn condemnation from around the world, Iran's police said Wednesday they would continue to act against the protesters "with all their might".

So far, "around 60 people" have been killed since Amini's death on September 16th, Fars news agency said on Tuesday, a day after officials confirmed they had made more than 1,200 arrests, among them activists, lawyers and journalists.

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