A member of Iranian parliament’s Commission on National Security and Foreign Policy has said “more than 7,000 people” were arrested during recent protests.
This is the first time any governmental source in Iran announces a figure on the number of arrests.
Etemad newspaper says Hossein Naqavi Hosseini made the remark on November 25 in a meeting of two commissions in parliament.
Nevertheless, Naqavi Hosseini told lawmakers that he cannot give a precise figure on arrests and it is better if “official” sources comment on that.
Protests began November 15 and quickly spread throughout the country after the government suddenly raised the price of gasoline, angering ordinary Iranians already squeezed by a deep recession and over 40 percent inflation.
As unrest spread to more than 100 cities and towns, authorities used lethal force to suppress the protests. At least 143 people were killed and thousands injured and jailed.
There are many videos published on social media or sent to Persian-language media abroad show security forces firing at protesters on point-blank range.
Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, who was in charge of giving orders to security forces, remained silent on the issue of casualties and arrests in a TV interview Tuesday evening.