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Protesters Defy Iran’s Crackdown

Darafsh, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Iranian security forces have killed at least 234 people in nationwide protests following the death of Mahsa Amini in custody for an alleged breach of the Islamic dress code.

Mahsa Amini’s family is under pressure from Iran’s security forces to cancel a planned ceremony to mark her death, the Hengaw human rights organization said on Tuesday (October 25).

The 22-year-old died last month in the custody of the Gasht-e Ershad -- the so-called morality police -- after they arrested her for allegedly wearing the hijab incorrectly. Her death sparked mass anti-government protests, which have continued for more than five weeks across Iran.

“Mahsa Amini’s family is under a lot of pressure from the Iranian security agencies to issue a statement regarding the ceremony marking 40 days since Mahsa’s death. Her brother and other relatives have been threatened with arrest,” Hengaw reported.

There have been numerous calls for nationwide protests to mark the 40th day since Amini’s death. Mahsa Amini is not the only young female protester to be killed.

On September 20, 16-year-old Nika Shakarami died after she messaged a friend to say security forces were chasing her during a protest in Tehran. Her body showed multiple fractures to her head, pelvis, arms, and legs.

The family of Hadis Najafi, 22, have said that she was shot dead by security forces while protesting in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, on September 21. Officials allegedly asked her father to say she died of a heart attack.

Another 16-year-old girl, Sarina Esmailzadeh, died after being severely beaten on the head by security forces during protests in Karaj on September 22, according to Amnesty International.

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