SEVERAL KILLED IN IRAN DURING PROTESTS OVER WOMAN’S DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODY
Post created on 11:49 am
Iranian authorities confirmed on Tuesday that four people were killed during popular unrest over the death of a young woman in police custody, but sought to deflect blame from security forces by saying the protester killings were “suspicious”.
Demonstrations continued in Tehran late on Tuesday and police fired tear gas, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Tehran Governor Mohsen Mansouri accused foreign agents of fomenting the violence in the country’s capital.
He said citizens of three foreign countries were arrested during gatherings overnight, the Iranian state news agency IRNA said.
Reports of a fourth death, of a “police assistant” who sustained injuries during violent protests in the southern city of Shiraz, were released by the official IRNA news agency on Wednesday.
“On Tuesday evening, some people clashed with police officers and as a result one of the police assistants was killed. In this incident, four other police officers were injured in Shiraz,” IRNA said.
The unrest is some of Iran’s worst since street clashes last year over water shortages and reflects popular discontent not only over women’s rights but also over security and an economy reeling from international sanctions.
In an apparent effort to defuse tensions, an aide to Iran’s supreme leader paid condolences to the family of the woman killed in custody in Tehran after morality police arrested her for “unsuitable attire”.
Kurdish human rights group Hengaw said three people were killed in Kurdistan on Monday when security forces opened fire.
The Governor of Kurdistan province confirmed that three people were killed but said the deaths were suspicious and did not say who was responsible for them.
“A citizen of (the city of) Divandarreh was killed with a weapon that isn’t used by the armed forces. Terrorist groups are looking to kill,” Esmail Zarei Koosha said in comments reported by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Mahsa Amini, 22, from Iran’s Kurdistan province, fell into a coma and died while waiting with other women held by the morality police, who enforce strict rules in the Islamic Republic requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes in public.
Amini’s father has repeatedly said his daughter had no health problems, adding that she had suffered bruises to her legs. He held the police responsible for her death.
Demonstrations broke out in Kurdistan and spread on Monday and Tuesday to several other provinces in northwestern Iran. The most violent unrest has taken place in the Kurdistan region.
Videos posted on social media have shown demonstrations in numerous cities, with women waving their headscarves and protesters facing off with security forces.