Iran’s Ahmadinejad slams Libya crackdown on protesters

February 24th, 2011 - 12:32 am ICT by BNO News  

TEHRAN (BNO NEWS) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday condemned the violent crackdown on protesters in the region and called on Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi to meet public demand, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

“I strongly advise these countries’ authorities to allow the nations to speak their words,” President Ahmadinejad said about the events in a number of regional countries, including Bahrain, Yemen and Libya.

”If they claim to be governing the nations, they should listen to their nations and stand beside them,” he added.

Anti-government protests have spread across North Africa and the Middle East, including Iran where protesters have been brutally silenced.

One person was killed after security forces opened fire on protesters on Sunday in Tehran. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds in the capital after demonstrators gathered in different locations to mark the death of two protesters killed during a protest the week before.

In addition, opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who have called for the protests, are under de facto house arrest and all their communication means are reportedly cut.

“Serve your people and stand beside the people so that people do not revolt against you,” Ahmadinejad added while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Tehran.

Libya has been plunged into chaos as massive anti-government protests continue nationwide, resulting in a violent crackdown by security forces which included aerial bombardments on protesters. More than 250 people have been killed, according to most recent estimates by Human Rights Watch. Unofficial reports from the Arab African country, however, said that the death toll has already surged to over 1,000. 

There have been reports that the Libyan government was using tanks, warplanes and mercenaries in an effort to stamp out the growing rebellion. 

In a speech on state television, the Libyan leader vowed to fight protesters demanding his ouster, saying he would stay in the country and die “a martyr”.

In 2009, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Tehran to denounce the re-election of Ahmadinejad as fraudulent. But the regime violently quelled the protests.

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