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35 Killed As Massive Protest Rocks Iran After Woman Died In Police Custody Over Hijab

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At least 35 people have been killed in Iran during a protest over the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after she was arrested for breaking rules on wearing hijab.

35 Killed As Massive Protest Rocks Iran After Woman Died In Police Custody Over Hijab

Mahsa Amini’s Death Sparks Protest In Iran

It was gathered that the 22-year-old woman was pronounced dead three days after she was arrested and allegedly beaten up by Iran’s controversial morality police for wearing the hijab headscarf in an “improper” way.

Activists said Amini suffered multiple blows to the head in police custody but Iranian authorities maintain that the deceased wasn’t mistreated while she was detained but suffered “sudden heart failure”.

In an interview with BBC Persian, the deceased’s father, Amjad Amini accused the authorities of lying, saying he had not been allowed to view his daughter’s autopsy report.

“My son was with her. Some witnesses told my son she was beaten in the van and in the police station. My son begged them not to take her, but he was beaten too, his clothes were ripped off. I asked them to show me the body-cameras of the security officers, they told me the cameras were out of battery,” Amjab Amini said.

Criticizing claims that his daughter had health problems which could have contributed to her death, Amkan Amini said, “they are lying. She has not been to any hospital at all in the past 22 years, other than for a few cold-related sicknesses.”

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But on Friday night, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Amini had not been beaten, noting that the government was investigating the cause of her death, adding “we must wait for the final opinion of the medical examiner, which takes time”.

“Reports from oversight bodies were received, witnesses were interviewed, videos were reviewed, forensic opinions were obtained and it was found that there had been no beating,” Vahidi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

Vahidi criticized “those who took irresponsible positions… incited violence and followed the United States, European countries and anti-revolutionary groups”.

Different sort of demonstrators has taken to the streets of major cities across Iran, including Tehran, for eight straight nights since the death of Mahsa Amini.

Videos showing women burning their hijabs, headscarves, and crowds chanting “death to the dictator” amid burning cars are flooding social media, despite the Iranian government’s intermittent shutdown of the country’s internet.

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In one of the footage, the protesters were heard chanting, “Women, life, freedom.” Others can be seen setting up bonfires, scuffling with police, or removing and burning their headscarves — as well as destroying posters of the country’s Supreme Leader and shouting, “Death to the dictator.”

In another video from Tehran, young protesters were seen marching around a bonfire on the street at night, chanting: “We are the children of war. Come on and fight, and we’ll fight back.”

Almost all the provincial towns in Iran’s Kurdish region, including Kermanshah and Hamedan, have seen demonstrations as well.

“They are beating and killing protesters in all cities of Iran, and police are trying to get help from neighboring countries like Afghanistan,” one woman in the capital Tehran told CNBC, speaking anonymously out of fear of government reprisal.

She described some of the police forces confronting the protestors as “so young,” saying she and her fellow demonstrators would tell them, “why are you against us? Come and protest with us!”

In response, she said, “some of them swear at us, but most say ‘they forced us.’”

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The situation is getting more dangerous by the day, Iranians who spoke to CNBC said amid reports that over 450 people have been injured in the protests.

“The number of people who died in recent riots in the country has risen to 35 people,” the Borna news agency, which is affiliated to the sports ministry, said late Friday, citing state television.

The official toll had previously stood at 17 dead, including five security personnel.

Iran’s minister of communications, Issa Zarepour, said that internet services were disrupted for “security purposes and discussions related to recent events,” by security forces, the country’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

KanyiDaily had also reported that thousands of men and women have fled from Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered 300,000 people to be recruited into the military to fight in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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