Borrell says Iran protest crackdown 'unjustifiable, unacceptable'

AFP , Sunday 25 Sep 2022

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Sunday that Iran's crackdown on protests is "unjustifiable" and "unacceptable", as Tehran vowed no leniency against the unrest gripping the country.

Josep Borrell
Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks during a press conference, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. AP


A wave of protests has rocked Iran since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran's morality police.

At least 41 people have died, mostly protesters but including members of the Islamic republic's security forces, according to an official toll, although human rights groups say the real figure is higher.

In a statement on behalf of the EU, Borrell said: "For the European Union and its member states, the widespread and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors is unjustifiable and unacceptable".

Moves "to severely restrict internet access by the relevant Iranian authorities and to block instant messaging platforms is a further cause for concern, as it blatantly violates freedom of expression", he added.

Amini was arrested on September 13, accused of having breached rules that mandate tightly fitted hijab head coverings as well as ripped jeans and brightly coloured clothes.

Iran's judiciary chief on Sunday "emphasised the need for decisive action without leniency".

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