As the protests in Tehran and other cities in Iran have intensified, hundreds have been arrested by security forces and their fate is a big source of concern. Iran’s record of mistreating detained protesters raises many questions of what will happen to current detainees.
Deputy head of Tehran’s security forces has told ILNA that “The president and the interior ministry have issued strict orders not to repeat unpleasant past behavior toward detainees.”
During the upheaval of 2009, many detainees were tortured or mistreated in jail and a few died in custody.
The security official did not mention any other details about the directive received from President Hassan Rouhani and also refused to disclose the number of detainees, saying that the interior ministry should issue official numbers.
Late on Sunday, December 31, Tehran’s governorate announced the arrest of 200 protesters, but since then there have been no new announcements.
In the meantime, the death toll from the protests is climbing, with officially announced toll standing at 15 killed.
Security forces seem to be ready to use much more lethal force in small towns and cities than in Theran where there are more domestic and foreign journalists and activists watching the events.