At least 40 people have been killed in Iran since anti-protests erupted across the country on Friday, according to a report by opposition website Radio Farda which cites human rights organizations and videos on social media.
While the Iranian authorities have only confirmed the death of three people so far, multiple reports are suggesting that the death toll is at least 13 times higher than the official claim.
Security forces opened fire on protesters from the rooftop of a building on Sunday in the city of Javanrud, killing at least four people, the Kurdistan human rights network reported on Twitter.
A further six people were killed on Saturday and “between one to four” people on Sunday in Mariwan in the Kurdistan province, Mariwan-based journalist Adnan Hassanpour told Radio Farda.
A man was also shot in the head, probably by a sniper, in Mariwan on Sunday, he said.
Protests in the cities of Javanrud, Sanandaj, Kermanshah and Bukan were “widespread” and the death toll was “high,” Hassanpour added.
In the southwestern province of Khuzestan, at least 13 people have been killed since Friday, Ahwazi London-based human rights activist Karim Dehimi said in an interview with Radio Farda.
Iran imposed petrol rationing and raised pump prices by at least 50 percent on Friday, saying the move was aimed at helping citizens in need with cash handouts. Anti-government protests have erupted across Iran since the decision was announced.
Iran has almost completely shut off internet access across the country as protests over an increase in fuel prices intensified for the fourth day, cybersecurity NGO Netblocks confirmed in a report.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Sunday backed the gasoline price rise that has sparked nationwide protests, which he blamed on the Islamic Republic’s opponents and foreign foes.