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Iranians protest after death of 10-year-old
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Thousands of Iranian protesters have gathered for the funeral of a nine-year-old killed by the regime, chanting “Death to [Ali] Khamenei”, the nation’s Supreme Leader. Large crowds gathered in Izeh, southwest Iran, to pay their respects to the friends and family of nine-year-old Kian Pirfalak, who was fatally shot in the chest while driving home with his father, who was himself hospitalised, during a protest on Wednesday.
The crowds appear increasingly irritable as the state media, on behalf of the theocratic regime, continue to deny responsibility for the murder of Kian, blaming it instead on terrorism.
In the footage, protesters in their thousands scream “Death to Khamenei!”, with others chanting “they killed our children”.
The death of Kian, as well as 14-year-old Sepehr Maghsoudi, reportedly shot in the head by gunmen on motorbikes in Izeh on the same day, has further infuriated Iranian citizens.
State media claim that the motorbike attacks, which killed seven people in the southwest, were the act of “terrorists” unaffiliated with the regime.
State news agency Irna said two gunmen riding motorbikes targeted protesters as well as security personnel at the central market in Izeh at around 17:30 local time (14:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
But opposition leaders and activists dismissed the claims, suggesting in the case of Kian and his father a group of security personnel opened fire on their vehicle.
Protesters in the Iranian capital of Tehran could be heard chanting “Rainbow god, they killed our children” on Thursday in memory of Kian.
And sources close to the family of 14-year-old Sepehr said Iranian security forces had shot the teenager in the head with a live round, before stealing his body from the morgue two hours later.
At least 56 children have been killed during the protests in Iran, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, according to he Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).
At least 362 protesters have died in the past two months, while more than 16,000 have been arrested by security forces. State executions of those participating in the events are also being carried out.
Over the past two days since the death of Kian and Sepehr, hundreds of thousands of Iranians across the nation have flooded the streets to fight against the regime.
Administrative buildings of the regime, as well as bases for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, who are in charge of preventing the protests, have been overrun and destroyed by incandescent civilians.
Posters of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have also been set on fire, while roadblocks have been erected to stop the security forces from being able to travel around.
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Earlier this week, the UK imposed a fresh round of sanctions on Iranian officials linked to the brutal crackdown.
Communications Minister Issa Zarepour and a range of local law enforcement and IRGC officials involved in the suppression of the protesters were barred from travelling to the UK. Any assets they held in the UK were also frozen.
Zarepour and Vahid Mohammad Naser Majid (chief of Iran’s Cyber Police) were sanctioned for shutting down the internet in Iran to disrupt communications between protesters and with those outside the country. This included disabling WhatsApp and Instagram and banning the use of Google Play and virtual private networks (VPNs).
Foreign secretary James Cleverly said: “Together with our partners, we have sent a clear message to the Iranian regime – the violent crackdown on protests must stop and freedom of expression must be respected.
“The Iranian people could not be clearer. It’s time for the regime to stop blaming external actors and start listening to the voices of their people.”
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