Amnesty International said on Tuesday, November 19th that over 100 Iranian protesters had been killed by security forces in 21 cities during anti-government protests over a 50% hike in fuel prices announced on Friday, November 15th, reported Reuters.
Snipers were seen shooting at the protesters from rooftops and helicopters, Amnesty said in a report.
Amnesty's report said that 106 protesters were killed by security forces in 21 cities, adding that their information is based on credible sources, verified videos, and tips provided by human rights activists.
The continuing protests across Iran over the squeezed living standards, corruption, and the expanding gap between the rich and poor prompted a violent response from the Iranian government.
Some reports claimed that more than 200 protesters were killed, with dozens buried by the government without autopsy or informing their families.
The reports denounced the security forces’ handling of the situation as “harrowing” and “unlawful,” as excessive and lethal force were used by the government to disperse the largely peaceful crowds.
Iranian judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters that the calm had been restored, whereas the crowded streets have proven otherwise.
Despite blocking the internet, videos posted on social media showed the protests continuing in several Iranian cities on Monday and Tuesday. Security forces have arrested more than 1,000 protesters according to human rights reports.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed “deep concern” following the reports indicating that hundreds of peaceful protesters have been killed by the security forces, reported AFP.
Local Iranian news outlets reported the deaths of three security force members in the city of Tehran, adding that they were stabbed to death.
Iran has witnessed several nationwide protests against the government during the past decade; however, the violent response, usage of lethal and excessive violence, and unlawful arrests managed to overcome the angry crowds.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed Iran's foreign enemies, including the United States, for the unrest, denouncing demonstrators as "thugs."
The powerful Revolutionary Guards have previously warned of "decisive" action if the protests persisted. At the end of 2017, the Guards and their allied Basij militia quenched violence in which at least 22 people were killed.