The Stick Approach
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Iranian authorities will hold public trials for 1,000 people for their involvement in the mass protests that have been sweeping the country for more than six weeks, a move that underscores the severity of the threat the demonstrations pose to the government, the Associated Press reported Monday.
The protests erupted in September following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained on charges of violating Iran’s strict dress code for women. She died while in the custody of the country’s notorious morality police.
The demonstrations were initially against the mandatory headscarf – but soon turned into a call for Iran’s ruling clerics to step down.
Authorities have used live ammunition and tear gas to quell the unrest, which has resulted in the deaths of at least 270 people and the arrest of 14,000 others, according to human rights groups in the country.
On Monday, state media said the individuals will be brought to trial in the capital Tehran over their “subversive actions,” including assaulting security guards and setting fire to public property.
Iran’s judiciary chief, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, added that some of the individuals will be charged with collaborating with foreign powers – echoing claims by the government that foreign governments are responsible for fomenting the protests.
Meanwhile, officials have accused people in other provinces of “corruption on earth” and “war against God,” charges which carry the death penalty.