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Wave of protests in Iran: Authorities now state the number of deaths is almost twice as high

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The official death toll has almost doubled in protests in Iran following the death of a young woman. “The death toll in the recent unrest in the country has risen to 35,” Iranian state media reported on Friday evening.

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So far, the authorities had given the number of victims as 17. Activists are already assuming at least 50 deaths. More than 700 people were also arrested in the northern Iranian province of Gilan alone.

The protests were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on Friday last week. She had been arrested by the moral police because she had apparently not worn the Islamic headscarf in accordance with strict regulations.

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After her arrest, Amini collapsed under mysterious circumstances at the police station and was pronounced dead at the hospital three days later. heart attack According to human rights activists, the young woman suffered a fatal blow to the head.

Interior Minister Ahmad Wahidi said on Friday evening that Amini had not been beaten. “Reports were received from regulators, witnesses were interviewed, videos reviewed and forensic reports obtained, and it was found that there had been no beatings,” the minister said, according to Iranian media. The investigation into the cause of death has not yet been completed, Wahidi added. “We’ll have to wait for the coroner’s final report.”

There have been eight nights in a row in Iran since Amini’s death. Protests took place across the country again on Friday, which, according to online videos, again turned violent in Tehran and other large cities such as Tabriz. According to the recordings, the security forces shot unarmed demonstrators with live ammunition in Piranshahr, Mahabad and Urmia in north-western Iran.

A video distributed by the human rights organization Iran Human Rights (IHR) in Oslo showed a man in uniform firing an assault rifle at people in central Tehran. Another video showed security forces on an expressway in Tehran.

According to IHR, at least 50 people were killed in the violent crackdown on the protests by Friday. According to Amnesty International, security forces shot dead 19 people on Wednesday evening alone, including at least three minors.

At least 700 people have been arrested since the protests began

According to the human rights organization, it has documented that the Iranian security forces are “deliberately and unlawfully” using live ammunition to disperse protesters.

The Iranian security forces have also arrested numerous people in the past few days, including the reporter Niloufar Hamedi from the newspaper “Schargh”. Hamedi had visited the hospital where Amini was and helped publicize her case.

In northern Iran’s Gilan province alone, more than 700 people have been arrested since the protests began. As the Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday, citing the provincial police chief, the police arrested 739 “rioters” there, including 60 women. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people in the country to obtain independent information. In addition to censoring the media, the regime has also been blocking access to the Internet for a few days. (AFP)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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