Iran’s rulers have inflicted death by torture and gunfire on citizen protesters in a crackdown since the Dec. 28 street uprising erupted, the main opposition group said Tuesday.
The Europe-based National Council of Resistance of Iran says the Islamic republic’s ubiquitous security apparatus has arrested more than 8,000 citizens and killed at least 50, all while the West has remained mostly silent. The council attributes at least five deaths to torture.
President Trump has spoken out in support of the protesters. The Treasury Department on Friday slapped further sanctions on the regime’s judiciary chief, Sadeq Amoli Larijani. Mr. Larijani has been singled out by the West for years for endorsing cruel punishments that include torture and amputation.
“As the head of the judiciary for the past nine years, Larijani is a key official in the regime’s suppressive apparatus, who has played a direct role in the execution of thousands of people, in the crackdown and arrest of dissidents, as well as in censorship and repression,” said Shahin Gobadi, a council spokesman based in Paris.
The opposition group said protests have spread to 130 cities. The protesters complain of dismal economic conditions, of military adventures in Iraq and Syria, and of being ruled by clerical Shiite Muslim hard-liners led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.