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Tear gas canisters fired during demonstrations in Iran


Tear gas was fired Sunday evening to disperse anti-government demonstrators in Iran, and at least one person was wounded, according to video clips circulated on social networks on Monday.

Sunday gatherings were organized for the second consecutive night after the Iranian armed forces admitted to downing the flight “PS S 572” of Ukrainian Airlines on January 8 shortly after taking off from Tehran, by a missile “by mistake” at a time when the country’s defenses were in a state Alert for an American attack.

Hours before the tragedy, Iran had fired missiles at two bases in Iraq used by American soldiers, in response to the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a US raid in Baghdad.

Tehran’s admission of responsibility for the crash caused a wave of condemnation in the country.

According to the videos, a crowd of protesters chanted slogans against the authorities in the famous “Azadi” (Freedom) Square in Tehran.

Footage posted on social media showed the Human Rights Center of Iran – a New York-based non-governmental organization – protesters screaming and dispersed as tear gas was thrown at a crowded crowd in Azadi Street leading to the square.

Agence France-Presse was unable to independently verify the timing and location of the captured footage, which is often shared via the Telegram app and other messaging services. However, the agency did not find any traces of these clips on the Internet before they were published in recent days.

In one video clip, a woman with a wound appears lying on the sidewalk while blood marks appear on the ground, and several people carry them among them who chanted “bandaged” the wound.

In other videos posted as scenes from a demonstration in the city of Amal on the Caspian Sea, crowds could have been seen protesting in the streets and shouting “We don’t want the Islamic Republic.”

– “self-control” ? –

On Saturday evening, official TV reported a demonstration in Tehran, noting that protesters chanted “anti-regime” slogans.

Over a period of three days, Iran denied the hypothesis that the plane was hit by a missile, as several countries have announced since the night of the accident. On Monday, Iran denied any attempt to conceal the issue.

After the armed forces recognized their responsibility for the accident, a rally went out on Saturday evening in honor of the plane’s victims at Amir Kabir University in Tehran.

This gathering turned into an anger demonstration in which hundreds of students participated, according to journalists in France Press who came to the scene to cover the gathering in honor of the victims.

On Sunday, the level of tension increased in the streets of the capital, which were surrounded by the law enforcement forces, especially around the Azadi and Coup yards.

Large numbers of riot police units, equipped with water and batons, were deployed near three universities in central Tehran. About fifty members of the Basij forces (Islamic volunteers) were distributed in the vicinity of Amir Kabir University.

Tehran police chief General Hussein Rahimi said Monday that he had received “restraint” directives.

He said in a statement broadcast on state television, “The police did not shoot at the gatherings because an order for restraint was issued to the police in the capital.”

In mid-November, Iran witnessed a protest movement that the authorities violently suppressed, according to human rights NGOs including Amnesty International, which confirm that more than 300 people were killed then and that thousands were wounded or arrested.

This movement started against the backdrop of the sudden announcement of a significant increase in fuel prices.


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