The State Department announced on Thursday that Iran’s Islamic regime has arrested at least 1,000 Iranians since protests began and announced that it will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the uprising and how to provide support for the people.
“We condemn the deaths to date and the arrests of at least 1,000 Iranians by the Iranian regime during this week’s protests and called on the United Nations Security Council to speak out in support of the Iranian people,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert wrote. “Tomorrow, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Iran”:
Tomorrow, the @UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on #Iran. We condemn the deaths to date and the arrests of at least 1,000 Iranians by the Iranian regime during this week’s protests and call on the UN to speak out in support of the Iranian people. #IranProtests.
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) January 5, 2018
Also on Thursday, Nauert said in a press release, “We have ample authorities to hold accountable those who commit violence against protesters, contribute to censorship, or steal from the people of Iran.”
According to Amnesty International, hundreds of detained Iranians are being held in the notorious Evin Prison’s “quarantine section, an area that has the capacity to hold a maximum of 180 people.”
This week, Musa Ghazanfarabadi, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Court, warned that the arrested protesters could face the death penalty, specifically, that they would face charges including “moharebeh,” which in Farsi means “waging war against God and the state.” It is punishable by death. The Arabic version of “moharebeh” is “ḥirabah.”
Amnesty International reportedly called for the release of those arrested. “The Iranian authorities have an appalling track record of carrying out mass arbitrary arrests of peaceful demonstrators,” Philip Luther, the regional research and advocacy director at Amnesty International, said, adding:
Given the alarming scale of the current wave of arrests, it is highly likely that many of those held are peaceful protesters who have been detained arbitrarily and now find themselves in prisons where conditions are dire and torture is a common tool to extract confessions and punish dissidents.
Protests have continued for a ninth day throughout various cities in Iran.
Iran’s elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reportedly deployed its forces to three provinces in an attempt to crush the anti-government protests. On Wednesday, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of the IRGC, was quoted on the IRGC’s website announcing “the end of the sedition” of protesting. Jafari reportedly said, “A large number of the trouble-makers at the center of the sedition, who received training from counter-revolutionaries … have been arrested and there will be firm action against them.”