More than 300 people have been killed in Iran since protests erupted over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini on September 16. Human rights groups estimate that the death toll is likely to be far higher than this figure.
“Everyone in the country has been affected by the death of this lady. I don’t have the latest figures, but I think we have had perhaps more than 300 martyrs and people killed in this country, including children, since this incident,” Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards’ aerospace division, said in a video published by the Mehr news agency.
The protests were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. They quickly escalated into calls for the overthrow of Iran’s theocracy and pose one of the most serious challenges to the ruling clerics since the 1979 revolution that brought them to power.
The toll includes dozens of police, troops and militia killed in clashes with demonstrators or murdered. The protests have spread across the country and drawn support from artists, athletes and other public figures.
The unrest has even cast a shadow over the World Cup, with some Iranians actively rooting against their own national team because they see it as being linked to the government.