A tribute to Mahsa Amini, who died in September while being detained by Iran’s morality police. Photograph: Tolga Ildun/Rex/Shutterstock
Olaf Scholz says responsibility for violence lies solely with regime and pledges new sanctions
The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has strongly criticised the Iranian government for its brutal crackdown on protests and said Germany stood “shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people”.
Scholz said the protests sparked by the death on 16 September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her detention by Iran’s morality police were no longer “merely a question of dress codes” but had evolved into a fight for freedom and justice.
The protests have grown into one of the largest sustained challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the chaotic months after the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
“We can barely begin to imagine how much courage this takes,” Scholz said in his weekly video address on Saturday. “More than 300 killed, dozens of death sentences and more than 14,000 arrests. So far. Those who demonstrate against oppression in Iran risk their lives, and often also the lives of their loved ones – and face the prospect of torture and decades in prison.”
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He said hundreds of thousands of people in Germany with Iranian heritage feared for their relatives and were “appalled and disgusted by what the mullah regime is doing to the demonstrators.
“It is clear that the Iranian government is solely responsible for this spate of violence.”
Scholz said additional sanctions would be placed on Iran for its crackdown and its decision to send hundreds of drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine. European Union foreign ministers are expected to agree on the sanctions when they meet on Monday.
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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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