Nov. 22 (BP) — Iranian judiciary officials said Tuesday that authorities arrested 40 foreign nationals for participating in ongoing anti-government demonstrations.
Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said the arrests were made in accordance with Iranian law. Setayeshi described the protesters, who were not named, as “terrorists” who “provoked” others to join them.
“The terrorists have had the scenario and they provoke those people on the street and target women, children, and security defenders,” Setayeshi said in paraphrased remarks in the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. “The terrorists showed that they are not even ready to pay the price of their blind actions and they hide their bloody hands.”
The protests, which have entered their third month, have come in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who died in the custody of Iranian morality police for not wearing her hijab correctly.
Amnesty International said last month that at least 144 people connected with the protests have been killed by Iranian security forces in the country’s effort to squash the movement against the country’s regime.
Human Rights Watch and the United Nations last week put the death toll against protesters at 326, including 43 children and 25 women, along with 14,000 have been arrested.
Reports said that Europeans from France, Sweden, Italy, Germany and other countries had been swept up in mass arrests by Iranian authorities.
Authorities said they arrested two prominent Iranian actresses — Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi — for publicly supporting the protests. Iranian officials said they were taken into custody for collusion and acting against Iran’s authorities.
They had earlier appeared in public without their headscarves — a gesture of solidarity with demonstrators.
Britain and the European Union had previously announced sanctions against Iran for their brutal crackdown. The sanctions also included at least 24 officials in the country.