Pompeo accuses Iran of suppressing protest memorials

Agence France-Presse
Pompeo accuses Iran of suppressing protest memorials
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo directly accuses Iran supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of stopping the public from mourning the killed protesters

WASHINGTON, United States – United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, December 28, slammed Iran for using “violence” and censorship to prevent memorials for those killed during the suppression of recent protests.

Protests broke out on November 15 across Iran, whose economy has suffered under sweeping sanctions from the US, after the government abruptly hiked fuel prices. (READ: Protest-hit Iran slams U.S. show of support for ‘rioters’)

“The Iranian people have the right to mourn 1,500 victims slaughtered by @khamenei_ir during #IranProtests,” Pompeo tweeted, directly accusing Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to the Ilna news agency, internet access was effectively cut off Wednesday, December 25, in multiple Iranian provinces ahead of memorials planned on social media a month after the protests.

“The regime fears its own citizens, and has once again resorted to violence and shutting down the internet,” he added.

The US said earlier this month that Iranian authorities may have killed more than 1,000 people in a crackdown on demonstrations in mid-November. (READ: Trump defends Iranians ‘killed for protesting’)

In his tweet, Pompeo cites to a much higher death toll that has already been listed by certain media outlets, as well as the exiled Mujahedin-e-Khalq, the formerly armed opposition that is fiercely critical of the regime and has cultivated close ties with the Trump administration.

Tehran has yet to publish its official death toll.

Human rights organization Amnesty International has confirmed that more than 300 people died during the protest crackdown. – Rappler.com

 

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