PARIS Protests have erupted across Iran in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police, with a rights group reporting Wednesday that two more protesters were slain overnight, bringing the total to six.
Public outrage has erupted after Iranian officials reported the death of Amini, 22, who had been detained for allegedly wearing a hijab headscarf in a “improper” manner.
Activists said the woman, whose Kurdish name is Jhina, was killed by a strike to the head, an allegation rejected by Islamic Republic officials who stated they had initiated an investigation.
Some female protesters have defiantly removed their hijabs and burned them in bonfires, while others have symbolically cut their hair, according to video footage that has gone popular on social media.
According to state media, on the sixth night of street marches that had expanded to 15 cities, police deployed tear gas and arrested people to disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people.
According to the official IRNA news agency, demonstrators threw stones at security officers, set fire to police vehicles and waste bins, and yelled anti-government chants.
Article 19 stated it was “extremely worried” by reports of “illegal use of force by Iranian police and security personnel,” including the use of live ammunition.
According to IRNA, overnight rallies were organized in Tehran and other towns such as Mashhad in the northeast, Tabriz in the northwest, Rasht in the north, Isfahan in the middle, and Shiraz in the south.
Despite online limitations reported by Internet access watchdog Netblocks, demonstrators could be heard yelling “Death to the tyrant” and “Woman, life, freedom” in video footage that extended beyond Iran.
In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke publicly on Wednesday but did not mention the escalating protests, and ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi was scheduled to appear later that day at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The governor of Kurdistan province, where Amini lived and where the protests began, Ismail Zarei Koosha, stated on Tuesday that three people had been killed during the protests.
He said they were “murdered suspiciously” as part of “an enemy plan,” according to Fars news agency.
Hengaw, a Kurdish human rights organization located in Norway, said on Wednesday that two additional demonstrators had been slain overnight.
The two, ages 16 and 23, were killed in the towns of Piranshahr and Urmia, both in West Azerbaijan province, according to Hengaw.
Another male demonstrator who was injured in Divandareh on September 17 died in hospital, according to the report.
Security forces opened fire on protestors in the southern city of Shiraz, where demonstrations lasted into the early hours of the morning.
The United Nations, the United States, France, and other countries have condemned Amini’s killing and Iran’s response to the protests.
The protests are among the most serious in Iran since the turmoil over fuel price increases in November 2019.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani blasted “foreign interventionist stances” on Tuesday.
“It is regretful that some countries try to use an ongoing investigation to promote their political ambitions and desires against the Iranian government and people,” he said.
Iran’s Telecommunications Minister Issa Zarepour warned of Internet limitations on Wednesday, citing “security issues of the day,” according to ISNA news agency.
Source: Arab News