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Protesters, Police Killed In Iranian Unrest Sparked By Young Woman's Death

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda September 21, 2022

Four police were injured and a police assistant died from injuries in growing protests in Iran after a 22-year-old woman died while being held by the morality police for violating the country's strictly enforced Islamic dress code.

A regional governor confirmed three protesters had died in protests there, and a human rights group said elsewhere THAT another injured demonstrator had died.

The death of Mahsa Amini, who had been picked up by Iran's morality police for her allegedly loose headscarf, or hijab, has triggered protests and rallies across Iran.

For many Iranians, especially youth, the death of Amini is further proof of the Islamic Republic's heavy-handed policing of dissent and the morality police's increasingly violent treatment of young women.

In the demonstrations, many Iranian women have taken off their headscarves in protest.

Four Iranian police officers were injured and one police assistant died from injuries on September 20 in the southern city of Shiraz following violent protests, the official IRNA news agency reported on September 21.

"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.

Fifteen protesters were arrested in Shiraz on September 20, according to an official quoted by IRNA.

Besides Shiraz, rallies were held overnight in the capital, Tehran, and other major cities, including Mashhad, Tabriz, Rasht, and Isfahan, IRNA reported.

Meanwhile, the governor of Kurdistan confirmed that three people had died under unclear circumstances in protests in the western Iranian province.

Ismail Zareikosha said that security forces were not not responsible for the deaths. He blamed them on what he described as “enemies of Iran.”

Elsewhere, the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, a group that monitors Kurdish-inhabited areas of western Iran, on September 20 announced the death of Hajar Abbasi, a woman who was severely wounded by direct fire from security forces in Mahabad on 18 September.

Iran's morality police arrested Amini on September 13 in Tehran, where she was visiting from her hometown in the country's western Kurdish region. She collapsed at a police station and died three days later.

Police detained her over wearing her hijab too loosely. Iran requires women to wear the headscarf in a way that completely covers their hair when in public.

The police deny Amini was mistreated and say she died of a heart attack. President Ebrahim Raisi, who will speak at the UN General Assembly on September 21, has promised an investigation.

Amini's father said she had no health problems and holds the police responsible for her death. He said she that she suffered bruises to her legs in custody.

A top medical official has since publicly challenged officials' account of Amini's death based on images of her body.

Foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani late on September 20 condemned what he called "foreign interventionist positions."

"It is regrettable that some countries try to take advantage of an incident under investigation as an opportunity to pursue their political goals and desires against the government and people of Iran," he said.

Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif "expressed alarm at the death in custody of Mahsa Amini...and the violent response by security forces to ensuing protests," in a statement issued on September 20.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/police-assistant-dies-four- officers-injured-iran-protests/32044236.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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