Death of Mahsa Amini: Iranian medical report clears morality police

Death of Mahsa Amini: Iranian medical report clears morality police

UPDATE DAY

Iranian authorities claimed on Friday that Mahsa Amini's death was not caused by “beatings”, but by the aftermath of an illness, three weeks after the start of protests sparked by the death of the young woman during her detention. 

Arrested on September 13 by the morality police in Tehran for not respecting the strict dress code for women in Iran, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died three days later in hospital.

Activists claimed she suffered a head injury while in detention. The Iranian authorities have denied any physical contact between the police and the young woman and said they are awaiting the results of the investigation.

Her death sparked protests in the country, with Iranian women in the front line, as well as solidarity rallies around the world.

The protests, the largest in Iran since those of 2019 against the rise in the price of gasoline, were repressed in blood. At least 92 people have been killed since September 16, according to a latest report from the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights, while an official report puts around 60 dead, including 12 members of the security forces. /p>

'Mahsa Amini's death was not caused by beatings to the head and vital organs' but is linked to 'surgery for a brain tumor at the age of eight' , according to a report by the Iranian Forensic Organization, while her father Amjad Amini had indicated that his daughter was “in perfect health”.

“On September 13, (Mahsa Amini) suddenly lost consciousness and collapsed… She suffered from an arrhythmia and a drop in blood pressure,” the state television report added.

“Despite her transfer to hospital and the efforts of the medical staff, she died on September 16 from multiple organ failure caused by cerebral hypoxia,” according to the same source.

Penalties

The crackdown on the protests has been denounced by the international community and some countries have imposed sanctions.

On Thursday, the United States announced economic sanctions against seven senior Iranian officials for their role in the crackdown.< /p>

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, “the regime's key instrument in repression”, and Communications Minister Issa Zarépour, “responsible for the shameful attempt to block the internet” are among those sanctioned, according to a statement from the Treasury Department.

Washington had already announced on September 22 a salvo of sanctions targeting the Iranian morality police and several security officials.

The strict dress code of the Islamic Republic in particular obliges women to wear the Islamic veil.< /p>

Women are at the forefront of protests in Iran, according to videos circulating online.

In recent days, schoolgirls have even organized rallies in several regions during which they removed their veils or shouted anti-regime slogans.

In a video verified by AFP, young girls, their heads unveiled, chanted “Death to the dictator”, in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, on Monday in a school in Karaj, west of Tehran.

Death of teenage girls

Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has acknowledged that young people were involved in the protests, denouncing the influence of social networks. 

On Thursday, Iranian justice denied that a 16-year-old girl, Sarina Ismaïlzadeh, had been killed in the province of Alborz (north-west) by the security forces during the protests, affirming that she had “committed suicide jumping from a building.”

On September 30, Amnesty International claimed that the girl had “died after being severely beaten in the head with a truncheon” on September 23.

< p>Already on Wednesday, Iranian justice refuted any link between the death of another 16-year-old girl, Nika Shakarami, and the protests in Iran. In a video broadcast by Persian-language media based abroad, Nika Shakarami's mother accused the authorities of killing her daughter.

Since the start of the protest, the regime has arrested notorious supporters of the movement and imposed severe restrictions on access to social media.

Iran has repeatedly accused outside forces of stoking the protests, including the United States, its nemesis .