A human rights group says security forces, predominantly the Iranian IRGC and its Basij militia, have killed at least 328 people in Iran’s antigovernment protests ignited by death of a 22-year-old woman in custody of hijab police in September.
The US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said Wednesday that at least 50 minors were among the casualties.
The new numbers cover the period between September 17 and November 8.
The group added that at least 41 government agents, including the Iranian IRGC paramilitary Basij forces and police, have also been killed during the unrest.
While the Islamic Republic has not provided accurate figures of those detained in the recent protests, HRANA says nearly 15,000 people are estimated to have been arrested, with the identity of 1,928 confirmed. About 431 of the detainees are students, it added.
According to HRANA over 877 city and university protest gatherings have been held in 137 cities and 136 universities during the period, while protest rallies show no sign of abating in what has become the boldest challenge to Iran’s clerical regime since the Islamic revolution of 1979.
The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights Organization (IHR) said November 6 that at least 304 protesters, including 41 children and 24 women have been killed in the current protests.
Protesters have been killed in 22 provinces, with the most reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Mazandaran, Tehran, Kordestan and Gilan respectively, says IHR.
The Iranian IRGC forces that perpetuate the most violence are the Basij paramilitary who are used to spread the state’s ideology, serve as propaganda machine in political campaigns, justify clerical rule, protect politicians, and enforce Islamic morality and rules. They are part of the Islamic Republic’s of Iran’s overall avowed plan to have millions of informers. The Basiji also undermine dissent; for instance, they play a key role in suppressing uprisings and demonstrations.
To prepare for war, the Basij are indoctrinated about the benefits of martyrdom.