Iranian president mohammad khatami praised the “perhaps unprecedented” involvement of students and professors in the nation’s protests. the unrest in iran was sparked by the death of mahsa amini in police custody and has since grown to include more than 150 cities and 140 universities in all 31 of the provinces. over 473 protesters have been killed, 18,215 have been detained, with 586 of those being students, and 61 security personnel have also been killed. khatami highlighted the “beautiful slogan” of “woman, life, freedom” as a sign that iranian society was moving towards a better future and criticized the arrests of students in the security forces’ crackdown on protesters.
Protests began in late 2019 and have since spread throughout the country. five protesters have been sentenced to death after being convicted of “corruption of earth” and eleven people, including three children, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms in connection with the killing of a member of the paramilitary basij resistance force in karaj. hadis najafi has become a symbol of the anti-government unrest and the total number of people sentenced to death in connection with the protests is eleven.
Leadership have labeled the demonstrations as “riots” spurred on by foreign enemies and have instructed security forces to take decisive action. khatami advised officials to “extend a helping hand” to protesters instead of dealing with them unjustly. iran human rights director mahmood amiry-moghaddam commented that the sentences had been issued without due process and were meant to spread fear and stop people from protesting. khatami urged the authorities to pay attention to protesters’ demands “before it is too late” and voiced his concern over punishments and restrictions of protesters, saying that “freedom and security should not be placed in opposition to one another”.