Latest reports on Tuesday afternoon from Iran indicate that protests in Tehran, Ahvaz and Karaj are continuing on the sixth day of unrest against the Islamic Republic and its leadership.
The protests usually pick up steam in early evening hours and later there will be a fuller picture of other cities and towns where people might have come out to voice their demands.
Islamic Republic officials have reported that more than 1,000 arrests since the start of the protests in Iran.
Deputy Governor of Tehran province announced that 450 protesters have been detained in Tehran, while 150 were arrested in Hamadan, in western Iran, and the rest in various cities and towns.
According to officials, the great majority of detainees are 17-25 years old.
More than eighty people have been arrested in Kerman and 138 in Mashhad. Officials in Kerman said that the detainees have been handed to “competent authorities”, without providing more details.
The fate of those arrested is a big source of concern, as the Islamic Republic’s record of mistreating detained protesters raises many questions of what will happen to current detainees.
During the upheaval of 2009, many detainees were tortured or mistreated while in custody and a few died in custody.
In a separate development, one of the main reformist groups, the Association of Combatant Clerics has strongly condemned the violence that has taken place in some instances during the protests.
“Without doubt the Iranian people are confronted with difficulties in their daily lives… and have the right to peacefully demand and protest,” said a statement from the group, headed by reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami.
“But the events of recent days have shown that opportunists and trouble-makers have exploited the demonstrations to create problems, insecurity and destroy public buildings, while insulting sacred religious and national values.”
Khatami led the country from 1997 to 2005 but was later barred from public appearances for his role in leading mass demonstrations in 2009.
The group said the violence seen through five days of protests across the country would help Iran’s “enemies”.
“The enemies of Iran, headed by the United States and their agents… have encouraged the trouble-makers and the violent actions.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Supreme leader Ali Khamenei also blamed “foreign intelligence services” to be behind the protests.
Based on numerous reports and videos, the great majority of protests have been peaceful, while the authorities have deployed large groups of police and anti-riot forces to prevent people from congregating. They have also extensively used tear gas, water cannons and even live fire against protesters.
Cover image: An image grab taken from a handout video released by Iran’s Mehr News agency reportedly shows a group of men walking down a street in Tehran on December 30, 2017. Ten people died overnight in fresh unrest in Iran, local media reported on January 1
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