on Wednesday 28 September, 2022

Spain Summons Iran Ambassador Over Protests Crackdown

by : AFP

Spain summoned the Iranian ambassador Wednesday to express its opposition to the heavy-handed crackdown on mass demonstrations across Iran that has claimed dozens of lives, a diplomatic source said.

The protests erupted nearly two weeks ago over the death of a young Kurdish woman in custody who had allegedly fallen foul of Iran's strict rules on headscarves and modest clothing.

"The foreign ministry has summoned the Iranian ambassador in Madrid to express its objection over the repression of the protests and the violation of women's rights," the source said.

The woman, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was visiting Tehran with her family, died after receiving a "violent blow to the head", her cousin told AFP.

In a statement, the ministry expressed Spain's "absolute condemnation" of the violence against peaceful demonstrators and in particular its "abhorrence of the violence against Iranian woman and their rights".

It urged the Iranian authorities to carry out "an independent investigation (into the bloodshed) and to establish responsibility in a transparent, objective and thorough manner" while "ending all arbitrary arrests" of journalists and other citizens exercising their civic freedoms.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez condemned Wednesday the situation of women in Iran and the death of Mahsa Amini, adding in a speech that he had expressed his concern to the Iranian government.

About 100 people demonstrated in front of the Iranian embassy in Madrid Wednesday in response to an appeal from feminist groups.

They held signs that read "SOS Iran" and "Iran: Women, life & freedom!".

Despite the fact the crackdown has drawn condemnation from around the world, Iran's police said Wednesday they would continue to act against the protesters "with all their might".

So far, "around 60 people" have been killed since Amini's death on September 16, Fars news agency said on Tuesday, a day after officials confirmed they had made more than 1,200 arrests, among them activists, lawyers and journalists.