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Protests erupt in Iran following the death of a woman in custody

Protests erupt in Iran following the death of a woman in custody

Protests erupt in Iran following the death of a woman in custody

Protests erupt in Iran following the death of a woman in custody

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  • A U.N. official calls for an independent probe into the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman.
  • A human rights group says five people have been killed and dozens injured.
  • The governor of Iran’s Kurdish region calls the deaths “suspicious”.
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Protests in Iran on Tuesday drew more people to the streets and new support from around the world in response to the death of a young woman in the custody of the country’s morality police.

Five people were killed by security forces, according to a human rights group, as thousands marched in cities across the country, including the capital, Tehran, in response to the death last week of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman.

As the unrest spread to new cities and towns, a top United Nations official demanded an independent investigation and expressed “alarm” at what she called authorities’ “violent response.”

According to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, an independent monitoring group, security forces have cracked down on protests in Iran’s Kurdish region in recent days, killing five people and injuring dozens more.

According to the group, two protesters were killed as a result of “direct fire,” and at least 250 people were arrested across the country in the ongoing protests.

The region’s governor confirmed three deaths during the protests, according to the semi-official Fars news agency on Tuesday, but called the deaths “suspicious” and suggested they were not the result of clashes with security forces.

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Amini died on Friday after falling ill and slipping into a coma while waiting with other women detained by the morality police, who enforce the Islamic republic’s strict rules requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes in public.

Authorities acknowledged making arrests at subsequent protests, but denied mistreating Amini and stated that her death was under investigation.

Rights activists have expressed concern about Amini’s death and the government’s response to the protests. According to Reuters, her family has denied that she had any prior health issues.

“Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially, and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority, ensuring, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth,” said Nada Al-Nashif, acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

She also demanded that Iranian authorities “stop targeting, harassing, and detaining women who do not wear the hijab.”

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On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Iranian authorities to allow peaceful protests.

“Mahsa Amini ought to be alive today.” Instead, the US and the Iranian people are mourning her. “We demand that the Iranian government end its systematic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest,” he wrote on Twitter.

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