At least 35 people have been killed in violent protests in Iran for more than a week after the death of a young woman arrested by morality police, state media said on Saturday.
Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested on September 13 in Tehran for “wearing inappropriate clothes” by police charged with enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. She died three days later in hospital, and her death sparked nightly protests in major cities across Iran, including the capital Tehran.
The authorities deny any involvement in the violence
“State television announced on Friday evening that the death toll in the recent riots in the country has risen to 35 people,” said Borna News, the news agency linked to Iran’s sports ministry.
On Thursday, state television reported the death of 17 people during these demonstrations, while the authorities deny any involvement in the violence.
In the Islamic Republic, women must cover their hair and are not allowed to wear short or tight coats or jeans with holes.
On Friday evening, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi reiterated that Mahsa Amini had not been beaten by security forces. “Reports from oversight bodies were received, witnesses were interviewed, videos were reviewed, forensic opinions were obtained and it was found that there were no beatings” delivered to the young woman, indicated on television Mr. Vahidi, quoted by the local media.
According to him, the Iranian government is investigating “the cause of Mahsa Amini’s death (but) we have to wait for the final opinion of the medical examiner, which takes time”.
Mr. Vahidi further criticized “those who have taken irresponsible positions, (…) and incited violence”, accusing them of “following the United States, European countries and anti-revolutionary groups”.