Iran charges families for bullets used to kill protesters

The estimated death toll of the protests ranges from at least 161 protesters to over 366 protesters.

People protest against increased gas price, on a highway in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
People protest against increased gas price, on a highway in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Islamic Republic has demanded that some families pay for the cost of the bullets used to kill relatives during nationwide anti-government protests as the estimated death toll continues to rise.
Human rights NGO Amnesty International reported that Iranian authorities would demand the payments for the bullets or compensation for destroyed property when returning the victims' bodies to their families. Families have also been warned against holding funerals or speaking to the media. In many cases, victims' bodies have not been returned to families at all.
According to the NGO's most recent update, the reported death toll numbers at least 161 protesters, although "the real death toll is likely to be significantly higher." Iranian opposition website Kalemeh reported an estimated death toll of 366 protesters, although more recent reports by the site imply that the death toll is even higher, according to Radio Farda.
Some Iranian officials have begun admitting that some protesters may have been "wrongly targeted and killed," although "it is not currently possible to confirm or refute such reports with any degree of certainty," according to IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Yazdi.
Internet was shut down in the country during part of the protests. As Internet was restored afterwards, videos began surfacing showing the extent of the violence used against protesters, with heavy mounted machine guns being used on protesters in some cases. Over 7,000 people may have been arrested during the protests, according to Radio Farda.

On Sunday, registration began for candidates running in Iran's upcoming parliamentary elections set for February 21, 2020. All candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council.