Riot police videoed sexually assaulting female protester in Iran

Riot police are caught on video sexually assaulting female protester in Iran as they try to arrest her during anti-hijab demos

  • Video appears to show Iranian riot police sexually assaulting a protester
  • The woman is manhandled and dragged to a police motorbike for arrest 
  • She eventually is let go but the armed police are seen laughing afterwards
  • It is latest video to emerge from Iran showing shocking and violent repression 
  • Iran has been protesting since Sept 16 after a young girl died at hands of religious police 

Iranian riot police have been caught sexually assaulting a female protester in the latest shocking video to emerge from the month-long riots that have racked the Islamic country.

In the video, which was filmed at Tehran’s Argentina Square on Wednesday according to the BBC, a woman is seen being detained and taken towards a motorbike in a busy street crowded with police.

Once she is surrounded on all sides by four armoured cops, one of them appears to grab her inappropriately from behind with a strong hand. She then crumples to the floor.

A female voice can be heard from behind the camera saying: ‘They are pulling her hair.’ 

A woman is seen being detained and taken towards a motorbike in a busy street crowded with police

Once she is surrounded on all sides by four armoured cops, one of them appears to grabs her inappropriately with a strong hand. She then crumples to the floor

At this point passing cars begin to loudly honk their horns – a common noise and symbolic gesture that shows support for the uprising. 

The woman then stands up and manages to run away and escape her tormentors, according to the BBC.

They report the same voice on the clip saying: ‘Look at him [the security force officer], he is laughing’. 

In a rare show of accountability, Tehran’s Police Public Relations office has said they are aware of the incident and will be investigating, according to state news agency Irna.

Despite the commonplace brutality of its police force, the ultra-conservative and austere Iranian regime will not want to be seen to tolerate sexual abuse.

Law professor Mohsen Burhani pointed out that police sexual assault ‘is a multiplicity of crimes and is subject to Articles 619 and 637 of Penal Code.’ 

Social media users, under hashtag #violence, have called for the sacking of Iranian police chief Hossein Ashtari, while others only reiterate their determination to protest the regime no matter what repression they must suffer.

The demonstrations were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, (pictured) a woman who died in the custody of Iran’s feared morality police on September 16

The authorities are waging a deadly crackdown against the unrest, with more than 200 protesters feared killed in the violence, including at least 23 children

Iranian students chant slogans as they protest at Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology

Protesters make fire and block the street during a protests on September 21

One user wrote: ‘I can talk so much about the assault of the repressive forces on that woman! But I close my mouth, I clench my teeth in anger, I keep my anger where I need to use it!’ 

Another likened the behaviour of Tehran’s uniformed police to that of ISIS followers in Syria, and underline the hypocrisy of the regime for claiming to fight the terror group while behaving like them. 

Another video shows woman with a red shawl surrounded by riot police after she appears to intervene to protect an older woman facing harassment by the security forces.

At first an unarmed man restrains her, then another dressed in protective gear and helmet, a shotgun in one hand, violently drags her from behind and flings her to the ground.  

The videos are just the latest to outrage Iranians at the treatment they must suffer at the hands of their own government.

Yesterday, another video emerged of fleeing protesters being fired upon with a machine mounted on the back of a pick-up truck. 

In the clip, which has been verified by the BBC Persian service, shots can be heard as the vehicle chases people in Baneh, in Kurdistan province in the east of Iran, indicating that the regime is stepping up its violent repression of nationwide protests. 

Iran has been rocked by a month of demonstrations driven by public outrage over Amini’s death on September 16 after the morality police had arrested her for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women. 

Protesters flee from security forces in Baneh, in Kurdistan province in the east of Iran 

The protesters are pursued by a pick-up truck armed with a machine gun on the back that appears to be firing at them

Night after night, young women and schoolgirls have taken to the streets with their hair exposed and fists raised, chanting ‘Woman, life, freedom’ and ‘Death to the dictator’. 

Meanwhile, Iranian activists have called for fresh nationwide protests on Saturday, as US President Joe Biden voiced his support for ‘the brave women of Iran’.

Young women have been on the front line of the protests, shouting anti-government slogans, removing their headscarves and facing off with security forces in the streets.

Despite blocked access to internet services and platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp, activists issued an online appeal for a huge turnout for protests on Saturday under the catchcry ‘The beginning of the end!’

They have called on people across Iran to show up at spots where the security forces are not present and to chant ‘Death to the dictator’ – a reference to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

‘We have to be present in the squares, because the best VPN these days is the street,’ they declared, referring to virtual private networks used to skirt internet restrictions.

The protesters drew support from the US president, who said he was ‘stunned’ by the mass demonstrations, now in their fifth week.

‘I want you to know that we stand with the citizens, the brave women of Iran,’ Biden said late Friday.

‘It stunned me what it awakened in Iran. It awakened something that I don’t think will be quieted for a long, long time,’ he said.

US President Joe Biden voiced his support for ‘the brave women of Iran’ saying he was ‘stunned’ by the mass demonstrations, now in their fifth week

‘Women all over the world are being persecuted in various ways, but they should be able to wear in God’s name what they want to wear,’ said Biden.

Iran ‘has to end the violence against its own citizens simply exercising their fundamental rights,’ he added.

At least 108 people have been killed in the Amini protests, and at least 93 more have died in separate clashes in Zahedan, capital of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, according to Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.

The unrest has continued despite what Amnesty International called an ‘unrelenting brutal crackdown’ that included an ‘all-out attack on child protesters’ – leading to the deaths of at least 23 minors.

The bloody crackdown has drawn international condemnation and new sanctions on Iran from Britain, Canada and the United States.

Iran’s supreme leader has accused the country’s enemies, including the United States and Israel, of fomenting the ‘riots’.

On Friday, Khamenei’s government condemned French President Emmanuel Macron for remarks in which he expressed solidarity with the protests sparked over Amini’s death.

Foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said Macron’s remarks served to encourage ‘violent people and lawbreakers’.

He said it was ‘surprising’ that France was condemning Iran’s security forces for dealing with ‘violent people and rioters’ when it was threatening to use force in response to ‘labour strikes in the oil and gas sector’ at home.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on October 12, one month into the nationwide riots that have rocked the country and shaken his repressive rule

‘This is clear hypocrisy,’ he said.

In response to the call for fresh protests, one of Iran’s main revolutionary bodies, the Islamic Development Coordination Council, has urged people to join a counter-demonstration after evening prayers on Saturday to ‘express their revolutionary anger against sedition and rioters’.

A call also went out this week for ‘retirees’ of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to gather on Saturday given ‘the current sensitive situation’, according to a journalist at the Shargh newspaper.

The security forces have carried out a campaign of mass arrests that has netted young activists, journalists, students and even minors.

Schoolchildren have been arrested inside classrooms and ended up in ‘psychological centres’, Education Minister Yousef Nouri said this week, quoted by Shargh.

Some voices of support for the protesters have come from inside the country.

In an open letter published on its front page Thursday, reformist newspaper Etemad called on Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, to stop arrests being made under ‘pretences that are sometimes false’.

The Iranian authorities have organised their own rallies attended by women clad in black chadors – garments that cover their heads and bodies.

A bid to show they had the support of famous women unravelled overnight after a photomontage of dozens wearing the hijab disappeared from a Tehran billboard within 24 hours of being erected as it featured some personalities known to oppose the headscarf. 

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