Iran’s security forces kill four amid protests over Mahsa Amini’s death: Rights group
An Iranian Kurdish rights group said on Monday at least four people were killed, over a dozen injured, and a 10-year-old girl was in critical condition after being shot in the head by security forces during anti-government protests sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody.
Watch: Protesters carry a 10-year-old girl who activists say was shot in the head by #Iran’s security forces during anti-government protests sparked by the death of #MahsaAmini while she was in police custody.#Mahsa_Amini https://t.co/W6eQRLXgTA pic.twitter.com/lAf7adQzeA— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) September 20, 2022
Protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini escalated late on Monday, spreading to multiple cities and turning violent in some areas.
Rights group Hengaw said security forces opened fire on protesters in the city of Saqqez, Amini’s hometown, in Kurdistan province, killing two people.
In Divandarreh, also in Kurdistan province, where heavy clashes erupted between protesters and security forces earlier on Monday, “at least two citizens – Fouad Qadimi and Mohsen Mohammadi – died after being taken to Kosar Hospital in Sanandaj and 15 others were injured,” Hengaw said.
The rights group also said that a 10-year-old girl was in critical condition after being shot in the head in Bukan, a city in West Azerbaijan province.
Protesters in multiple cities clashed with security forces late on Monday and shouted slogans against the regime and its highest authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, videos shared on Twitter showed.
Watch: Protesters in the Iranian capital #Tehran chant “Death to the Islamic Republic,” footage shared by activists shows, as anti-government protests sparked by the death of #Mahsa_Amini continue.#MahsaAmini https://t.co/W6eQRLXgTA pic.twitter.com/MBOTGlBFfU— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) September 20, 2022
A video shared by @1500tasvir, an Iranian Twitter account that reports on protests in Iran, showed demonstrators in Tehran attempting to flip over a police vehicle with smashed windows.
Another video from Tehran showed protesters clashing with a water cannon deployed by riot police as it attempted to disperse demonstrators.
“We will fight, we will die, we will take Iran back,” protesters in Tehran chanted in one video shared on Twitter. “Clerics must get lost,” protesters in the capital chanted, in reference to Iran’s theocratic rulers, another video showed.
Protests also broke out in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Khamenei’s birthplace, with demonstrators chanting “death to the Islamic Republic,” footage circulating on Twitter showed.
In the northern city of Rasht, protesters chanted “death to the dictator,” referring to Khamenei, according to a video shared on Twitter.
Another video from Rasht showed security forces running away from protesters.
Al Arabiya English could not independently verify the videos’ authenticity.
Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks reported “a near-total disruption to internet connectivity” in Sanandaj, the provincial capital of Kurdistan province on Friday.
Iranian authorities typically restrict internet access during anti-government protests to stymie demonstrations.
The protests began after Amini was pronounced dead on Friday. Amini fell into a coma shortly after she was detained by the morality police for not complying with the regime's strict hijab rules in Tehran on September 13.
Tehran’s police said Amini “suddenly had a heart problem” while in detention, and state-run outlets published reports claiming she suffered from multiple health conditions prior to her arrest.
But Amini’s parents have said that their daughter did not have any health problems prior to being detained. Activists say she was beaten while in detention, causing serious injuries that led to her death.
Hijab, which was made mandatory for women in Iran shortly after the country’s 1979 revolution, is considered a red line for Iran’s theocratic rulers. Women who break the strict dress code risk being harassed and arrested by Iran’s morality police.
Based on the dress code, women are required to fully cover their hair in public and wear long, loose-fitting clothes.