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German Foreign Minister Slams Iranian Govt Over Crackdown On Protesters

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock has chided the Iranian leadership over violent crackdown by security forces in Tehran on protests following the death of a woman in custody.

Iran has been swept by protests for weeks following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by the morality police in Tehran for violating the country’s strict dress regulations for women.

It is not clear what caused Amini’s death. While critics believe police brutality is to blame, the authorities insist that she died of heart failure.

Since Amini’s death there have been nationwide and international protests against Iran’s leadership and specifically the headscarf mandate.

The minister strongly condemned the response of the Iranian security forces which has resulted in the death of dozens, with many more injured.

She descried the deadly crackdown on women protesters in the streets of Telran as being on the wrong side of history.

“Anyone who beats up women and girls in the streets, abducts people who want nothing more than to live freely, arbitrarily arrests them, sentences them to death, is on the wrong side of history”, she told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Baerbock said the European Union would impose entry bans on those responsible for suppressing protests and freeze their assets in the bloc.

Meanwhile, the protests are gaining intensity as they enter their fourth week, and observers are seeing growing civil disobedience.

The minister said the calls of the people on the streets of Iran for self-determination are “deafening”.

On Sunday, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other leading politicians commemorated the third anniversary of the attack on a synagogue in Halle on Sunday.

“This anniversary reminds us never to look away,” Scholz tweeted. “We remember the victims and reaffirm our determination to fight right-wing extremism in every form”.

On Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, an armed right-wing extremist tried to force his way into a synagogue in Halle. When the door held, he shot dead two people nearby and injured two others as he fled.

The man confessed to carrying out the attack on October 9, 2019, and was convicted last year and given a life sentence.

The state premier of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff, called for a “clear and unequivocal stance” against anti-Semitism and racism.

“All people are entitled to the same right to respect and dignity,” he said on Sunday at a commemoration ceremony at the synagogue in Halle. Anti-Semitism and racism endangered “the cohesion in our society.”

He also referred to the crimes against the Jews during the Nazi era. “The veneer of civilisation is very thin. Humanity can quickly turn into inhumanity and barbarism”, he stressed.

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