Protests erupt in Iran
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/13/20, 12:13 pm
Iranian security forces likely used gunfire and tear gas over the weekend on people protesting the country’s downing of a passenger plane last week. The New York–based Center for Human Rights in Iran received video footage showing people coughing as a tear gas canister landed near them, while another clip showed pools of blood on the sidewalk after the protests. Iranian police chief Gen. Hossein Rahimi denied officers opened fire, although the semi-official Fars news agency reported tear gas “in some areas.”
What spurred the anger? Protesters gathered in Tehran to mourn the victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane crash on Wednesday that killed all 176 passengers, many of them Iranians and Iranian-Canadians. Iran finally admitted on Saturday one of its missiles downed the plane. On Sunday, hundreds of students gathered at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University in honor of the victims. Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and plainclothes police officers patrolled gatherings at the Vali-e Asr Square and other landmarks.
Dig deeper: Read Lynde Langdon’s report in The Sift on an Iranian general explaining how the military mistook the plane for a cruise missile.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.