During protests in Iran, students at Sharif university are hit with tear gas by police.
There are reports that some students are stuck in the campus parking lot. Unverified videos on social media show security forces firing tear gas.
Iranian security forces and students fought at a well-known university in Tehran, according to social media and state media. This is the latest sign of a deadly crackdown on nationwide protests that began after a young woman died in police custody.
The anti-government protests started at the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 17 in the Kurdish town of Saqez. Since then, they have grown into the biggest show of opposition to Iran’s government in years, with many people calling for the end of Islamic clerical rule, which has been in place for more than 40 years.
The activist Twitter account 1500tasvir, which has about 160,000 followers, posted several videos on Sunday showing dozens of riot police surrounding Sharif University, which is often a place where people protest.
In one of the videos, security forces can be seen firing tear gas at the students to get them to leave the campus, and what sounds like distant gunfire can be heard.
In another video, security officers could be seen trying to catch a lot of students who were stuck in the underground parking lot of the university. The story said that a lot of students had been taken into custody.
Iranian state media said that there were “reports of clashes” at the university and that the country’s science minister went there to see what was going on.
Reuters could not confirm the events at the university on its own.
Students had been protesting at many universities on Sunday, and demonstrations were held in cities like Tehran, Yazd, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Shiraz, and Mashhad. Social media posts from earlier in the day showed that people were chanting “independence, freedom, death to Khamenei.”
Even though more people are dying and security forces are cracking down with tear gas, clubs, and in some cases, according to videos on social media and rights groups, live ammunition, the protests are still going on.
A Norway-based group called Iran Human Rights said in a statement, “So far, 133 people have been killed across Iran.” The group said that more than 40 people were killed in clashes last week in Zahedan, the capital of the Sistan-Baluchistan province in the southeast.
Iran’s government hasn’t said how many people have died, but they have said that “rioters and thugs backed by foreign enemies” have killed a lot of security forces. Last week, state TV said that 41 people had died, and that some of them were members of the security forces.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the most power in Iran, hasn’t said anything about the nationwide protests, which have spread to all 31 provinces and involve people from all walks of life, including ethnic and religious minorities.
The death of Amini and the crackdown have caused people around the world to criticize Iran’s leaders. In turn, Iran’s leaders say that the United States and some European countries are using the unrest to try to bring down the Islamic Republic.
Iranian state media showed a video of pro-government students chanting “The Islamic Republic is our red line” at Mashhad’s Ferdowsi university.
During a parliament session earlier on Sunday, Iranian lawmakers chanted “thank you, police” to show their support for a crackdown on widespread protests against the government.
Amini was arrested in Tehran on September 13 for wearing “inappropriate clothing,” which is against the strict dress code of the Islamic Republic. She went into a coma and died three days after that in the hospital.
Saleh Nikbakht, a lawyer for Amini’s family, told the semi-official news site Etemadonline that “respectable doctors” think she was hit in jail. The autopsy report and other medical information about Amini have not been made public, but her father said he saw bruises on her leg and that other women who were in the same jail as her said she had been beaten.
Iran’s police say that Amini died of a heart attack and that she was not killed by being beaten in jail.
President Ebrahim Raisi, who is very conservative, has asked for an investigation into Amini’s death. Last week, he said that the forensic report would be given in the “coming days.”
Amnesty International said on Friday that thousands of people have been arrested and hundreds have been hurt during the protests.
State media said that at least 20 people were killed in the fighting in Zahedan. They blamed a Baluchi separatist group for starting the shooting in the city.