Security forces of the Iran government have brutally cracked down on demonstrators with batons and handcuffs. As per media reports, they are attacking unarmed women with shotgun fire tageting their faces, breasts and genitals while men were targeted more leniently.
Citing doctors who treated the bullet wounds, The Guardian reported that the security forces fired "birdshot pellets" on protesters from close range targeting women's faces, breasts and genitals.
Accessed images showed people with dozens of tiny "shot" balls lodged deep in their flesh while men were shot in their legs, buttocks, and backs.
"I treated a woman in her early 20s who was shot in her genitals by two pellets. Ten other pellets were lodged in her inner thigh. These 10 pellets were easily removed, but those two pellets were a challenge, because they were wedged in between her urethra and vaginal opening," a doctor was quoted as saying, indicating that men and women were targeted in different ways.
As per media reports, some of the medics who treated the bullet wounds accused security forces of violating riot control practices, such as firing weapons at feet and legs to avoid damaging vital organs.
Death of Mahsa Amini: The origin of the ongoing protest
The spontaneous outburst of anger over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman while being in the custody of Iran’s ‘Morality Police’ have swept Iran since September 16.
The guidance patrols or Gasht-e-Ershad, commonly known as the ’Morality Police’ of Iran, detained Amini on September 13 for flouting the country’s dress code for women as she apparently was wearing an ‘improper head covering’.
Authorities claimed that Mahsa succumbed to death on September 16 owing to a cardiac failure three days after falling into a coma while her family, rejecting the possibility of any underlying medical condition to be the cause of her death, firmly pointed towards custodial brutality and asserted that she was beaten.
Despite strict embargoes on usage of internet in Iran, the social media feeds across the globe are flooded with sporadic videos of women vehemently protesting in solidarity with Amini. From chopping hair to burning hijabs and shouting, ‘Women, life, freedom’- the protest has seen it all.
Since the very onset of the protest, the theocratic regime of Iran has firmly believed that foreign powers were acting as the impetus behind it with a clear objective of destabilizing the country.
Stemming from the angst triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death, the anti-government protest has now taken the shape of a massive outcry against the repressive regime of the ‘supreme leader’ Ayatollah Khamenei. The unrest has given thousands of people a platform to raise their voices against several other pressing issues as well including inflation, unemployment, violation of international laws and sanctions.