At least 106 protesters in 21 cities have been killed by Iranian security forces during protests over a hike in government-set gas prices, according to a report from Amnesty International.
The report warns that the real death toll may be much higher, with as many as 200 people dead, according to verified video footage, “eyewitness testimony from people on the ground” and information from activists.
Video footage has emerged showing Iranian forces using firearms, water cannons and tear gas to break up protests, in addition to beating demonstrators with batons, according to the human rights organization. Images of bullet casings have also been uncovered, indicating that forces may have used “live ammunition.”
Iran’s government has not made nationwide numbers on the toll of the protests available, The Associated Press reported.
More than 100 cities in the country erupted in protests last week, according to the report, in response to the 50 percent price increase on gasoline that was announced on Nov. 15. The AP reported that the hike followed a decision by President Hassan Rouhani to cut gas subsidies in order to pay for programs for the poor.
The demonstrations were mostly peaceful over the weekend, although some did turn violent. Demonstrators blocked traffic in several major cities in addition to clashing with police.
State media has reported that four members of Iran’s security forces have died and more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested since Nov. 17, according to the report.
One Iranian newspaper suggested that those who led violent protests will be executed by hanging, the AP reported. Iranian officials have not confirmed the report, according to the outlet.