Elderly woman dies in Iran amid forced eviction, destruction of her home

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Municipal agents who destroyed the home of an elderly woman in Iran’s Kermanshah province leading to her death had no legal permit to do so, the head of Iran’s national inspection agency said on Monday.

Asiyeh Panahi, who lived with her daughter and granddaughter in a shed in Kermanshah, died while trying to stop municipal agents from destroying her home. The 55-year-old was a mother of seven.

Two officials from Kermanshah municipality have been arrested in connection with Panahi’s death, the province’s judicial authorities said on Saturday.

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Panahi’s shed was built on illegal land, but the municipal agents’ treatment of her was “unacceptable,” the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Hassan Darvishian, the head of Iran’s national inspection agency, as saying.

The municipal agents used an “illegal” pepper spray against Panahi as she was resisting them, Darvishian added.

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A video shared on social media showed Panahi throwing herself into a loader’s bucket in an attempt to stop the municipal agents from destroying her home. The incident sparked an outcry on social media.

The cause of Panahi’s death remains unclear. Some reports suggested that she may have been beaten by the agents, but the Kermanshah municipality has denied these reports.