Demonstrations broke out across Iran on November 15 after the government imposed petrol rationing and raised fuel prices by at least 50%. After a monthly 60-liter quota, it costs 30,000 rials a liter.
Human rights groups have accused the feared Revolutionary Guard of waging a bloody campaign of violence to quell the uprising in most of the Islamic Republic's towns and cities.
Iran's United Nations mission in NY called Amnesty's findings "unsubstantiated" without elaborating. The report acknowledged that passersby, security forces and peaceful protesters also were among the dead, though it did not specify who was responsible for these deaths.
Mansoureh Mills, another Amnesty Iran researcher who spoke to VOA Persian, said it has taken days to verify the deaths of individual protesters, making it likely that the actual number of those killed is significantly higher than what the group has been able to confirm so far. Human rights reports suggest that, despite exemptions for humanitarian imports, the banking restrictions caused by US sanctions are preventing Iran from financing such imports, leading to shortages of drugs to treat rare diseases and multiple forms of cancer.
The protests are viewed as a reflection of widespread economic discontent gripping the country since Trump reimposed nuclear sanctions on Iran past year.
State TV said: "Rioters were armed with knives and weapons".
Meanwhile, the governor of a Tehran suburb that saw demonstrations openly acknowledged in a video interview with the state-owned IRAN newspaper that she ordered police to shoot protesters if they stormed her offices. Amnesty said dozens of those deaths were recorded in Shahriar city in Tehran province, "one of the cities with the highest death tolls".
Iran has provided no official death toll, but Amnesty said it had documented the deaths of at least 208 protesters, making the disturbances the bloodiest since the 1979 uprising that toppled the US -backed shah and swept Shi'ite clerics to power.
Golyamkhosein Esmaily said that the lawsuits and complaints were filed by Iranian citizens who directly suffered damage from "US actions". "Families have been forced to bury their loved ones at night under heavy security presence".
She said security personnel had also been visiting hospitals, looking for patients with gunshot wounds or other injuries from the unrest and immediately detained those with suspicious wounds. Iran's mission to the United Nations disputed Amnesty's findings early Tuesday, although it supplied no proof to help its declare.
Iran blamed both area separatists and the Islamic State group for an attack on a military parade in the region in September 2018 that killed at least 25 people. That's almost 24 cents a litre or 90 cents a gallon.
Cheap gasoline is practically considered a birthright in Iran, home to the world's fourth-largest crude oil reserves despite decades of economic woes. An average gallon of regular gas in the USA costs $2.58 by comparison, according to AAA. "We have under the Trump Administration, and always will!" That disparity, especially given Iran's oil wealth, fueled the anger felt by demonstrators.
The demonstrations began after authorities raised minimum gasoline prices to 15,000 Iranian rials per liter, an equivalent of about 50 cents a gallon. The cost of daily staples also has risen. "That is why they cut off the Internet, so people can't see what is going on", he said, citing no source for his numbers.