Despite the regime killing about 500 protesters and hanging one, Iran’s police chief threatened the people with more "decisive" response in the coming days.
Commander-in-chief of Law Enforcement Force of Islamic Republic Hossein Ashtari claimed Thursday that the police have shown "restraint" towards the protesters and will deal with them "decisively" from now on.
Describing the protesters as "seditionists," he said that "for more than 70 days, the police have been a powerful presence” against the protesters.
The Islamic Republic authorities have kept threatening protesters with more violent confrontation with little effect on the determination of protesters, with fresh nationwide protests on Wednesday and three days of strikes.
On Thursday, people held gatherings to mourn the 40th day after the death of the death of several protesters in different parts of the country. Holding mourning ceremonies on specific days after someone’s death has traditional cultural significance, therefore the more the regime kills people to muffle the protests, people tend to take to streets more for mourning ceremonies and the vicious circle continue.
People in several neighborhoods of the capital Tehran held protest rallies Thursday night after the first execution of a protester. People held rallies chanting slogans vowing to avenge Mohsen Shekari’s “legal killing”, as many Iranians said on social media.
Shekari’s hanging after a hasty and unfair trial has sparked deep anger among Iranians, who believe his killing was meant to instill fear among the people, and world leaders who describe the act as the acme of atrocity and a nadir of humanity.
Announcing a new package of punitive measures against the regime, European countries urged the Iranian officials to refrain from applying the death penalty and carrying out any future executions, and to pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of the death penalty altogether. “We call on the Iranian authorities to refrain from the unacceptable practice of using forced and publicized confessions as a basis for ascertaining the facts of alleged crimes. It is imperative for the Iranian authorities to uphold the accused individuals’ due process rights and ensure that those who are under any form of detention or imprisonment are not subject to any form of mistreatment,” the European Union said in a statement.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan echoed remarks by many other politicians, saying, “The unjust and cruel execution of Mohsen Shekari is a cynical attempt to intimidate the brave Iranian people... We will hold the Iranian regime accountable for the brutal violence it’s committing against its own people.”
Nationwide protests that erupted after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini on September 16 represent one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979. So far, around 500 civilians – including over 60 children -- have been killed by security forces and at least 18,000 arrested. While many have been released, around 1,500 face criminal charges, and at least 80 detainees face the death sentence.