Arrests, torture and executions: Iran’s autumn of discontent

Arrests, torture and executions: Iran’s autumn of discontent
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A woman attending a candlelight vigil, in memory of the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737, talks to a policeman following the gathering in front of the Amirkabir University in the Iranian capital Tehran on Jan. 11, 2020. (Photo by Mona Hoobrhfker/ ISNA / AFP)
Arrests, torture and executions: Iran’s autumn of discontent
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Protesters wave the Lion and Sun flag of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the white flag of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, two Iranian opposition groups, as they demonstrate outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sept. 12, 2020 against the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari in Iran. (Photo by Justin Tallis / AFP)
Arrests, torture and executions: Iran’s autumn of discontent
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People gather outside Iran embassy in France on June 13, 2019 to support Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and demand her release. (Photo by Francois Guillot / AFP)
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Updated 12 October 2020

Arrests, torture and executions: Iran’s autumn of discontent

Arrests, torture and executions: Iran’s autumn of discontent
  • Analysts believe the hanging of wrestling champion Navid Afkari last month was meant to deter future protests
  • Spiraling economic crisis could spur more repression and violence as regime confronts widespread discontent

LONDON: In the face of the Middle East’s worst COVID-19 outbreak and economic ruin, Iran’s violent crackdown and persecution of anti-government activists is an attempt to deter future protests, analysts say. Yet, in their view, the regime’s disregard for human rights may well be a sign of weakness rather than strength. 

The world was appalled in September at the cruel hanging of Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestling champion. He sought a fair trial until the end, but was deprived of legal representation and detained alongside his two brothers. The brutal mistreatment meted out to Afkari and his sudden execution were intended to send a clear message to normal Iranians, said Mansoureh Mills, Iran researcher at Amnesty International.

“The Iranian authorities are flexing their muscles,” he told Arab News. “At a time when the general mood among Iranians is shifting away from the death penalty and the world is looking in horror at Iran’s increasing use of it against protesters, dissidents and members of minority groups, the Iranian authorities are using executions, like that of Navid Afkari, as a tool of political control and oppression to instill fear among the public.”

Protesters demonstrate outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sept. 12, 2020 against the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari in Iran. (Photo by Justin Tallis / AFP)

More than 7,000 people were arrested during the 2019 demonstrations alone and at least 30 other protesters have already received death sentences, wrote Iranian democracy activists Shirin Ebadi, Abbas Milani and Hamid Moghadam in a recent opinion piece, titled “Iran deserves a red card for its human rights abuses,” for US news website The Hill.

A report released by the rights group Amnesty International in September detailed the catalog of horrors that detained protesters face in Iranian prisons. Prisoners spared the death penalty were regularly subjected to torture, including “beatings, floggings, electric shocks, stress positions and sexual violence,” the report said.

Tehran’s treatment of women’s rights campaigners has been particularly harsh. For example, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced 57-year-old Nasrin Sotoudeh, a leading Iranian human rights lawyer, to 38 years in jail and 148 lashes on charges of “disrupting public order and colluding against the system” for her work defending the rights of women. Amnesty has called the sentence an “outrageous injustice.”

Supporters of Amnesty International campaign for the release of Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh by celebrating a birthday party in front of the Iranian embassy in The Hague on May 31, 2019. (AFP)

Since 2009, the regime has imprisoned or attempted to prosecute at least 60 lawyers for defending political prisoners, according to Human Rights Watch. The regime is also accused of trumping up spy charges against foreign visitors to effectively hold them hostage, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian dual national jailed in 2016, and British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who has been detained since 2018.

As COVID-19 swept through Iran’s overcrowded jails earlier this year, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was temporarily released from the notorious Evin prison and placed under effective house arrest with her parents in Tehran, where she awaits fresh charges. Moore-Gilbert was recently moved from Evin to Qarchak, which is widely regarded as the worst women’s prison in Iran, known for its extrajudicial killings, torture and other rights violations.

Even the families of dissidents outside Iran are unsafe. Masih Alinejad, an outspoken US-based critic of the Islamic Republic, has said her family inside Iran has been regularly targeted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Her brother was imprisoned and tortured, while her mother has faced a pattern of harassment. At one point, her mother “threatened to pour gasoline on herself and set herself on fire” during a confrontation with IRGC officers, Alinejad said.

This mistreatment of protesters, Mills said, can be directly linked to the declining economic and political control that Tehran exerts over the population.

Since the beginning of 2020, the value of the Iranian rial has plummeted to new lows each passing month. In October, it dropped to its lowest-ever value. Worse yet for the regime, the US is moving forward with the re-imposition of “snapback” sanctions lifted as part of the nuclear deal. Meanwhile, with pressure mounting on European countries to take a harder line against Iran, one of the regime’s few remaining economic lifelines could soon vanish.

“Whenever the political and economic situation in the country declines, the Iranian authorities clamp down even further on the public and erode human rights even more — Tehran has shown it will do everything in its power to crush protests and silence dissent,” Mills said.

Iran’s spiraling economic crisis could herald yet more repression and violence by Tehran in an attempt to control the volatile domestic situation, Mills added. But far from dampening the appetite of ordinary Iranians for regime change, he believes widespread repression and the flippant use of execution have, and will continue to, enrage the population.

Journalist and author Masih Alinejad speaks onstage during the WICT Leadership Conference at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Oct. 16, 2018 in New York. (Getty Images/AFP)

“The anger at Navid Afkari’s execution among Iranians is palpable,” he told Arab News. “Since his death, graffiti has appeared in Iran’s streets criticizing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and calling for revenge for his killing, and people are urging protests against his execution.”

Mills’s prediction of unrest and anti-regime anger is echoed by Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an Iranian dissident group that views itself as Iran’s government-in-waiting.

Safavi says much like the protests of 2018 and November 2019, which were both triggered by economic grievances among the Iranian populace and morphed into anti-regime movements, the deteriorating economic and social foundations in Iran will catalyze further uprising.

In trying to prevent this, Safavi said, the regime is “caught between a rock and a hard place. While it needs to repress and execute to survive, it is fully cognizant of its fragile and vulnerable state, and is very worried about the massive social backlash of executions.”

Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. (Behrouz Mehri / AFP)

The case of dissident campaigner Shahla Jahanbin epitomizes the regime’s problem. She penned a letter to Khamenei earlier this year imploring him to resign.

In response, Jahanbin was sentenced to nearly four years in jail and forced to return to prison just months after receiving back surgery. But her cruel treatment at the hands of the Islamic Revolutionary Court has failed to suppress the anger of Iran’s youth against the regime — it only fuels it, Safavi said.

“The regime is terrified of the eruption of another uprising,” he added. But Tehran’s nightmare scenario may already be playing out. Footage obtained by Arab News shows unidentified individuals setting fire to the entrance of the Shiraz court where Afkari was handed his death sentence. A later video also shows an explosive device detonating in the heavily fortified entrance to Lorestan province’s central prison administration office.

Both attacks took place at night and caused only material damage, but were met with an immediate deployment of security forces. Safavi said this demonstrates the fear of the regime and its vulnerability in the face of the Iranian public.

The only way out of the cycle of repression, public backlash and more repression, according to Bob Blackman, a UK Conservative Party MP, is for the international community to send a clear message to Iran that “we are not going to put up with their human rights abuses.”


He told Arab News that European countries must abandon their attempts to appease Iran by rescuing the nuclear deal, and instead follow in the US administration’s footsteps with new sanctions against the regime. “We have to be strong and firm about this,” he said.

Blackman also noted the uncertainty and potential unrest caused by Iran’s sky-high coronavirus death toll — over 20,000 by official accounts, though many suspect the true figure may be far higher. He said concerns over personal safety amid the pandemic may be discouraging Iranians from taking to the streets against the government, but this reluctance to gather in protest will not last forever.

The issue in Iran, Blackman said, is increasingly a question of how much abuse normal Iranians are willing to put up with in their daily lives, and what they will resort to when it becomes too much to bear.

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with President Hassan Rouhani. (AP)

“What we do know is that the Shah (Iran’s pre-revolutionary ruler) was deposed after a long campaign of civil disobedience — it took a long time,” Blackman added.

“The anti-regime protests in Iran that continue to take place reflect the genuine sentiments of the Iranian people. These protests are a continuation of those beginning in November and proceeding through December, reforming again and again in the face of harsh repression.”

The consensus among rights groups, politicians and Iranians abroad is that Tehran’s executions and violent repression create a vicious cycle of more unrest, more human rights abuses, and therefore, more unrest.

Blackman said this cycle will continue until the international community abandons its strategy of appeasement and accepts the reality of the situation: The Islamic Republic cannot be trusted and will not change.

The general consensus among Iran analysts is that human rights abuses, executions and instability will continue until Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and the IRGC’s grip on Iran is replaced by a representative and democratically elected government.


Twitter: @CHamillStewart


UAE mulls movement restrictions on residents without COVID-19 vaccines

UAE mulls movement restrictions on residents without COVID-19 vaccines
Updated 21 April 2021

UAE mulls movement restrictions on residents without COVID-19 vaccines

UAE mulls movement restrictions on residents without COVID-19 vaccines
  • The UAE reports 1,903 new coronavirus cases and three fatalities
  • Abu Dhabi earlier approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

DUBAI: The UAE is considering imposing movement restrictions on individuals who remain hesitant to have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Dr. Saif Al-Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.

“The vaccine is our best means to recover and return to a normal life … Delaying or refraining from taking the vaccine poses a threat to the safety of society and puts all groups, especially those most vulnerable to infection, at risk,” Dr. Al-Dhaheri said in reports from local media.

“Strict measures are being considered to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals and to implement preventive measures, such as restricting entry to some places and having access to some services, to ensure the health and safety of everyone,” he added, as he urged residents aged 16 and above to get vaccinated.

The UAE reported 1,903 new coronavirus cases and three fatalities related to the highly transmissible disease overnight, amid the government’s continued inoculation program for citizens and residents.

The country’s COVID-19 caseload now stands at 500,860 while total fatality count is at 1,559, a report from state news agency WAM said.

Health officials said that 113,621 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of jabs given provided to 9,788,826 for a distribution rate of 98.97 doses per 100 people.

Abu Dhabi earlier approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the second COVID-19 shot to be made available in the emirate after beginning a mass campaign using the Sinopharm vaccine that was trialed in the country.

Pfizer obtained emergency approval in the UAE in December and Dubai rolled out the vaccine during that month.

Libyan factions face international call to step up peace process

Libyan factions face international call to step up peace process
Updated 21 April 2021

Libyan factions face international call to step up peace process

Libyan factions face international call to step up peace process
  • Arab League, African Union, EU and UN call for accelerated efforts to improve security and fully implement ceasefire
  • UN chief Antonio Guterres says urgent and immediate action is needed or window of opportunity might be lost

The international Libya Quartet on Tuesday urged authorities in the country to step up their efforts to improve the security situation and build confidence, to help bring peace to the country and fully implement the ceasefire agreement.
The members of the Quartet — the League of Arab States, the African Union (AU), the EU and the UN — said they are ready to help with the 5+5 Joint Military Commission’s plans for a “robust, credible and effective” ceasefire monitoring mechanism.
On Friday the UN Security Council unanimously voted to send up to 60 international monitors to Libya to oversee the ceasefire, which was agreed in October between the two rival factions in the East and West of the country. Operational and logistical preparations for the mission are under way.
Speaking at the sixth meeting of the Libya Quartet, which was convened on Tuesday by the League of Arab States, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the monitoring team will initially be a “nimble” presence in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, but expand over time.
He also made it clear that after years of violence and suffering there is a window of opportunity for peace “but urgent and immediate actions are needed to make use of this narrow window.”
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the Quartet members called for the “immediate and unconditional” withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from the country as a prerequisite for fully restoring Libyan sovereignty and preserving national unity.
They also condemned continual violations of the UN arms embargo on Libya, and the threat posed by armed groups and militias. They called for “the sustained implementation of measures to fully identify and dismantle these groups, and ensure the subsequent reintegration of those individuals meeting the requirements into national institutions as outlined in the ceasefire agreement … without delay.”
The meeting also included discussion of the possible deployment of AU, EU and Arab League observer missions, “at the request of Libya’s authorities, and if the requisite conditions on the ground permit,” to assist the National Elections Commission in its preparations for the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for December.
The importance of the elections taking place in “a favorable political and security environment, so that they are held in an inclusive, transparent and credible manner and where all Libyans commit to respect their results and integrity” was emphasized.
Participants also encouraged Libya’s new Government of National Unity, and other relevant institutions, to uphold their commitment to appoint women to at least 30 percent of senior executive positions, and to promote a national, rights-based reconciliation across the country.

Yemen launches first round of COVID-19 vaccination campaign

Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF’s representative in Yemen, receives the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a medical center in Aden, Yemen April 20, 2021. (Reuters)
Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF’s representative in Yemen, receives the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a medical center in Aden, Yemen April 20, 2021. (Reuters)
Updated 21 April 2021

Yemen launches first round of COVID-19 vaccination campaign

Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF’s representative in Yemen, receives the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a medical center in Aden, Yemen April 20, 2021. (Reuters)
  • The 12-day campaign was launched in the temporary capital Aden and 13 Yemeni governorates
  • The campaign aims to reach 317,363 people in 133 districts

RIYADH: Yemen launched the first round of its COVID-19 inoculation campaign on Tuesday in the temporary capital, Aden.
The campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief).
Yemeni Minister of Public Health and Population Qasim Buhaibeh, Minister of Civil Service and Insurance Abdul Nasser Al-Wali, Governor of Aden Ahmed Hamed Lamlas, Yemen’s representative for UNICEF Philippe Duamelle, and director of the WHO office in Aden Noha Mahmoud all received the vaccine in a show of support, Saba News Agency reported.
Yemen received 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 31, part of a consignment from COVAX expected to total 1.9 million doses this year.
Buhaibeh said this was the first step toward reaching the ministry’s goal of administering 12 million vaccines by the end of the year, urging doctors, the elderly and those with chronic diseases to register to receive the jab.
Duamelle said frontline workers, the elderly and those with certain health problems would be prioritized.
“The launch of the campaign against the coronavirus is an important day in Yemen’s history,” he said, adding that the health minister and other ministers have taken the vaccination confirming its safety.
The 12-day campaign aims to reach 317,363 people in 133 districts across 13 Yemeni governorates under the control of the internationally recognized government.
There has been a dramatic spike in coronavirus infections in Yemen since mid-February, further straining a health system battered by the conflict.
The government’s health ministry has previously said the COVAX vaccines will be free, and distributed across the country. COVAX is co-led by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance and the WHO to provide COVID vaccines to low-income countries.
Tuesday’s rollout covered only government-held parts of the country, said Ishraq Al-Seba’ei who is with the government’s emergency coronavirus committee. But she said 10,000 doses were being sent to Sanaa via the WHO.
Yemen’s emergency coronavirus committee registered 42 confirmed cases and six deaths on Tuesday. It has recorded 5,858 coronavirus infections and 1,132 deaths so far though the true figure is widely thought to be much higher as the war has restricted COVID-19 testing.
The Iran-backed Houthi militia, which controls the capital Sanaa and much of the north have provided no figures since a couple of cases last May.
Meanwhile, KSrelief said it has provided support for protection projects within Saudi Arabia’s grant for the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2020. 
The center cooperated with UNICEF to provide protection services by enabling children and their families to access psychosocial support and mental health services, totaling $4 million.
(With Reuters)

Shadow war no more: The tussle between Iran and Israeli spy agency Mossad

A grab of a videoconference screen of an engineer inside Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant, shown during a ceremony headed by the country's president on Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day, in the capital Tehran. (AFP/File Photo)
A grab of a videoconference screen of an engineer inside Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant, shown during a ceremony headed by the country's president on Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day, in the capital Tehran. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 21 April 2021

Shadow war no more: The tussle between Iran and Israeli spy agency Mossad

A grab of a videoconference screen of an engineer inside Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant, shown during a ceremony headed by the country's president on Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day, in the capital Tehran. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Natanz nuclear plant sabotage lays bare vulnerability to betrayal at the hands of own population
  • Analysts say Tehran’s tepid response is a sign of its desperation for sanctions relief above all else

LONDON: Analysts have said that the blast that struck Iran’s most critical nuclear facility on April 11 is another significant event in a decades-long shadow war between Tehran and its regional adversary Israel.

They say the sabotage has not only exposed Iran’s vulnerability to betrayal at the hands of its own population, but its tepid response has revealed its desperation for sanctions relief above all else.

Unnamed intelligence officials from Mossad told Israeli media and the New York Times last week that the mysterious Natanz explosion was their handiwork. And, according to Yossi Mekelberg, associate fellow with the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, it is a continuation of the spate of blasts, blackouts, and fires that swept across the Islamic Republic last year — but with one major difference.

“What has changed from last year is how public it is. (Israel) is ready to take responsibility. From a shadow war it has moved to the forefront,” Mekelberg told Arab News.

“This confrontation has been taking place for two decades now, at least. Cyberattacks, assassinations of scientists, attacks on ships — this is something that is ongoing. What you have seen in the last year or so is that it is becoming open, from covert to overt.”

In the past year alone, Iran has been rocked by a relentless series of attacks, assassinations, and sabotages. The country’s top nuclear scientist was killed in a sophisticated attack.

Their entire nuclear archives were stolen and smuggled out of the country, and nuclear, military, and logistics sites across the country have suffered from a series of mysterious setbacks.

An image grab from footage obtained from Iranian State TV IRIB on April 17, 2021 shows the portrait of a man identified as 43-year-old Reza Karimi, saying the intelligence ministry had established his role in last week's "sabotage" on the Natanz nuclear facility. (AFP/File Photo)

According to Mekelberg, these incidents have not only hindered Iran’s economy and nuclear program, but also exposed a fundamental weakness in the regime.

“They have a real issue inside their nuclear program,” he said. “The idea that their top scientist, they couldn’t protect him, and that someone managed to take your nuclear archives out of the country — that is not something you can simply put in your pocket.”

Iranian state television named 43-year-old Iranian national Reza Karimi as the prime suspect in the April sabotage — but said he had already fled the country in the hours before the blast occurred.

Mekelberg and other experts believe the involvement of an Iranian national is indicative of the regime’s core vulnerability: Turncoats within its population, and even within the nuclear program itself.


Iranian oil

* $40 - Price per barrel of oil used in Iran’s budget calculations.

* 300,000 - Estimated oil exports in barrels per day (bpd) in 2020.

* 2.8m - Iranian oil exports in bpd in 2018.

“They have a real issue with security. I assume that the more things like this happen, the more paranoid they become about who they can trust, who is working with foreign agencies. Obviously, someone is,” Mekelberg said.

Olli Heinonen, a non-proliferation expert and distinguished fellow at the Washington-based Stimson Center, believes the sophistication of the Natanz attack means there is little doubt that local collaborators from within the regime enabled it.

“Those who have designed and executed these actions have insider information and highly likely local contributors,” Heinonen told Arab News.

This handout satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on January 8, 2020 shows an overview of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility, south of the capital Tehran. (AFP/Maxar/File Photo)

Like Mekelberg, Heinonen highlighted Iran’s apparent ineptitude in defending even its most critical nuclear facilities and pointed to the stark contrast between the country’s record and another global pariah state’s nuclear program.

“It is worth noting that we have not heard about similar incidents in North Korea,” he said. “It is evident that the (Iranian) security forces have not been able to protect the assets as the leadership had expected.

“This does not come as a surprise. Not all Iranians, including technical professionals, buy the reasonability of the enrichment efforts, the investments for which could be used better elsewhere, even within the nuclear program.”

Tehran has admitted that the attacks caused serious damage at the Natanz facility. Last week, Alireza Zakani, a regime hardliner who heads the Iranian parliament’s research center, referred to “several thousand centrifuges damaged and destroyed” in an interview on state television.

A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's Revolutionary Guard on August 25, 2014, shows an alleged Israeli drone that was shot down above the Natanz uranium enrichment site. (AFP/File Photo)

“From a technical standpoint, the enemy’s plan was rather beautiful,” the head of the Iranian parliament’s energy committee said. “They thought about this and used their experts and planned the explosion so both the central power and the emergency power cable would be damaged.”

Heinonen said the attacks have “certainly slowed production” of 20 percent enriched uranium, which is above the enrichment level needed for nuclear power, but far below the 90 percent required for weapons-grade uranium.

However, he cautioned that production could begin to ramp up again within three months of the attack, and Tehran’s promise to begin enriching uranium to 60 percent in response to the attack could act as a springboard toward rapid development of a nuclear bomb.

“In a short term (60 percent enrichment) does not contribute much to breakout time, but it demonstrates the fact that uranium enrichment is mainly designed to build a nuclear latency; to be in a position to relaunch in short interval a full nuclear weapon acquisition program, if such a decision is made,” he said.

The response to the attacks is part of a delicate balancing act by Tehran, according to Nader Di Michele, an Iran-focused analyst at political risk consultancy Prelia.

This handout powerpoint slide provided by U.S. Central Command damage shows an explosion (L) and a likely limpet mine can be seen on the hull of the civilian vessel M/V Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. (AFP/File Photo)

“They do not want escalations but the government has to show a response in terms of its foreign policy. That could be aimed at international actors or even its domestic population,” he told Arab News.

Beyond increasing uranium enrichment, it was reported that unknown actors targeted an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the following days. However, Di Michele thinks the damage caused by that attack was, by design, minimal compared with the devastation caused by the Natanz attack.

“There always has to be a response to these attacks, but I think the Iranian delegation understands that there is a limit to what they can do if they want sanctions relief.”

Di Michele said if the ongoing negotiations in Vienna prompt a lifting of sanctions and release of various assets that, in turn, deliver a financial boost to the regime, “we can never be sure what proportion of that would go to support which activities.”

He added: “It can be assumed that a proportion of those assets released would go toward foreign policy activities. What those entail, I couldn’t speculate on.”


Twitter: @CHamillStewart

Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started – data

Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started – data
Updated 21 April 2021

Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started – data

Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started – data
  • Turkey registered its highest daily toll of 346 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday
  • Total cases stood at 4,384,624 while the total death toll rose to 36,613

ISTANBUL: Turkey recorded 346 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Tuesday, registering the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.
The data also showed the country recorded 61,028 new coronavirus cases in the same period.
The total number of cases stood at 4,384,624 while the total death toll rose to 36,613, according to the data.
Turkey currently ranks fourth globally in the number of daily cases based on a seven-day average, according to a Reuters tally.