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Iran's Judiciary Refuses To Say How Many Were Killed In November Protests

Blood of protesters shot in Marivan, Kurdistan province in Iran seen on the street. Undated
Blood of protesters shot in Marivan, Kurdistan province in Iran seen on the street. Undated

The spokesman for Iran's Judiciary has once again evaded responsibility to announce the number of protesters killed during the mid-November anti-Islamic Republic protests.

"It is the responsibility of Iran's Security Council (ISC) to publish the relevant data," Gholam Hossein Esmaeili said at a press conference on Tuesday, December 31, adding, "We have provided the ISC with the required data."

The Islamic Republic Minister of Interior, Abdol Reza Rahmani Fazli, presides over Iran's Security Council.

Meanwhile, Esmaeili dismissed estimates of the death toll issued by human rights organizations and news agencies. The latest figure published by Reuters said Security forces killed 1,500 protesters during the four-day anti-regime rallies.

Reuters cited unnamed sources at the Interior Ministry as saying that around 1,500 people were killed in the deadliest unrest in the four-decade history of the Islamic Republic.

"These foreign media are experts in disseminating invalid and fake news," Esmaeili reiterated.

Responding to a question about arresting the parents and relatives of a 27-year-old victim, Pouya Bakhtiari, the spokesman insisted they were detained for having a connection with anti-revolutionaries.

"They are also detained for criminal activities against the Islamic Republic's security," the Judiciary spokesman claimed.

Bakhtiari’s outspoken parents gave interviews to foreign-based Persian media and human rights activists.

The Interior Ministry deputy, Jamal Orf, had earlier insisted that the Islamic Republic's Prosecutor-General's office would soon announce the number of people fallen victim to the heavy-handed security forces' response to the protest rallies.

Different government agencies in Iran have evaded responsibility for revealing the number of mid-November deaths, passing the ball to one another.

The Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has praised the authorities for ending the demonstrations, describing the protesters as "insurgent evil-doers."