Iranian police say they will soon crack down “with all their might” on nationwide protests against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Iranian authorities have already slain dozens of protesters over the past 11 days of unrest, cutting off internet access to cover up the violence. Protesters have set fire to police stations and even killed several government enforcers from the Basij paramilitary group.
“Police officers will oppose with all their might the conspiracies of counter-revolutionaries and hostile elements, and deal firmly with those who disrupt public order and security anywhere in the country,” Iranian police announced in a Wednesday statement.
Iran’s internet blackout has made it difficult to ascertain how many people have been arrested or killed in the unrest. Some estimates say as many as 200 people have been killed and 10,000 have been arrested.
Protesters are demanding an end to the compulsory wearing of the Hijab and other violations of women’s rights in Iran. Many women participating in the demonstrations have set fire to their hijabs in the street.
The demonstrations first erupted after Iran’s morality police arrested Amini earlier in September for not wearing her hijab correctly. She suffered severe injuries while in custody and was later released to the hospital in a coma, where she soon died.
Iranian authorities have allegedly rejected responsibility for Amini’s death, claiming that she simply collapsed while in custody. Amini’s family says they found evidence of beatings on her body when they arrived at the hospital, however.
The unrest has been most severe in Iran’s northeastern region, where much of the nation’s Kurdish minority group resides. Amini was herself Kurdish.
The Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.