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Iran on 'wrong side of history,' Baerbock says

October 9, 2022

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the EU would impose new sanctions on Iranians responsible for the "brutal repression" of protesters.

Mahsa Amini solidarity march in Greece
The protests in Iran have led to marches in solidarity around the worldImage: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Sunday that she would ensure the European Union imposes entry bans on individuals who are responsible for cracking down on protesters in Iran.

Baerbock made the comments to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding the EU would also freeze their assets in the 27-member bloc.

Baerbock criticized Iranian authorities, saying, "Anyone who beats up women and girls in the streets, abducts people who want nothing more to live freely … is on the wrong side of history."

Baerbock had earlier called on the Iranian leadership to pay heed to protesters' demands since they were calling for basic rights.

Iranian authorities have cracked down on protesters, now in their fourth week, with human rights groups estimating that 185 people have been killed and hundreds arrested.

Iran solidarity protests around the world

Iran holds crisis meeting

Meanwhile, Iran's political leaders held a crisis meeting Sunday as protests against the death of Mahsa Amini gathered momentum.

Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, died in police custody in September after being detained by Iran's "morality police" for allegedly breaching the Islamic republic's strict dress code for women.

Her death has sparked an unprecedented wave of protests across cities in Iran, with women cutting their hair and burning their hijabs to protest the hijab law, which requires women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting long clothes.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the speaker of the parliament and the head of judiciary attended the meeting on Sunday, Iran's presidential office said.  

2 killed as protests continue

The crisis meeting came after at least two protesters were killed Saturday in a majority Kurdish city in northern Iran, according to reports by French-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network and the Norwegian-registered Hengaw Organization for Human Rights.

"Security forces are shooting at the protesters in Sanandaj and Saqqez," Hengaw said on Saturday, adding that riot police were also using tear gas to disperse protesters.

Protests have flared across cities in Iran, with demonstrators often clashing with security forces in the last few weeks. At least 185 people, including several children, have been killed during the unrest, the Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group, said Sunday.

Hackers briefly take over 9 p.m. news

Additionally, Iran's state-run broadcaster was hacked Saturday night.

A mask first appeared on the screen, followed by a photo of Ayatollah Khamenei with flames around him.

"The blood of our youths is on your hands," read a message on the screen.

The group that claimed it, Edalat-e Ali (Ali's Justice), also added a message on the top of the screen: "Join us and rise up."

They added an image of Amini and three others who had been killed in the unrest over the last few weeks.

Questions over Amini's cause of death

A state coroner's report earlier this week said Amini's death was not caused by any blow to the head and limbs. It did not say whether she suffered any injuries.

The report linked Amini's death to pre-existing medical conditions, according to state media reports.

Amini's father said she suffered bruises to her legs and has held the police responsible for her death.

rm/wd (Reuters, AFP, dpa)