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Family Says Iranian Student Killed By Police Bullet, Rejecting Official Claim That She Died In A Fall

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda November 18, 2022

The family of Iranian protester Aylar Haghi, who was killed in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz on November 16, she was slain by direct gunfire from security agents and not as a result of a fall from a height, as officials have claimed.

In an interview with RFERL's Radio Farda, a close relative of Aylar Haghi said on November 18 that Haghi's family are under pressure to sign a statement saying their daughter died due to an accident, otherwise they will not hand over her body.

Anger over the death of Mahsa Amini has prompted thousands of Iranians to take to the streets to demand more freedoms and women's rights in the biggest threat to the Islamic government since the 1979 revolution.

The 22-year-old died on September 16, three days after being detained in Tehran by the morality police for allegedly breaching Iran's strict rules on head scarves.

Relatives said Aylar Haghi, a fourth-year medical student at Azad University in Tabriz, hoped for a better future for Iran's youth and encouraged others to take to the streets and protest.

The wave of protests and the brutal government crackdown that followed Amini's death have left scores of demonstrators dead and seen thousands detained.

The Iranian government has not taken responsibility for the killing of any protesters and in most cases has attributed their deaths to suicide, illness, and accidents.

In some cases, authorities of the Islamic republic have forced the families of the dead to repeat official accounts of the death of their loved ones in front of television cameras.

Nasrin Shakarami, the mother of 17-year-old Nika Shakrami, told Radio Farda that the authorities have attempted to call her several times in an apparent effort to get her to "confess" that her daughter was killed by a fall from a height.

"I never answered them, but they have called people close to me and have warned and threatened that Nika's mother must come forward and say what we tell her and 'confess,'" she said.

"They want to force me into confessing in front of their camera and say that Nika either took her own life or that it was an accident," she added.

Hassan Draoftadeh, the father of a 16-year-old boy who was killed last month in the western Iranian city of Piranshahr, said that security agents had summoned him as well and pressured him to say his son was killed by Kurdish groups and not by the Iranian government.

The protests started in Amini's hometown of Saghez in Iran's Kurdistan region and spread to dozens of cities and towns across Iran. Tehran has accused, without providing evidence, that Kurdish groups in northern Iraq have been supporting the demonstrations.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iranian-protester-haghi-killed- police-bullet-fall-pressure/32137124.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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