Protesters rally in Irbil over Mahsa Amini’s death in Iran

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Protesters rallied outside the United Nations consulate in the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region on Saturday over the death of a young woman who was being held by Iran’s morality police.

Iran has witnessed around a week of anti-government protests and unrest over Mahsa Amini’s death.

The 22-year-old was from Iran’s Kurdish region.

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Protesters in Irbil chanted “Women, life, freedom,” and held up posters and photographs of Amini.

The demonstrations began as a public outpouring of anger over the death of Amini, who was arrested by the morality police in Tehran last week for allegedly wearing her hijab headscarf too loosely.

The police said she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family has cast doubt on that account.

Iranian state TV suggested late on Friday that the death toll from this week’s unrest could be as high as 35, raising an earlier estimate of 26.

Anti-government protesters and security forces have clashed in several major cities in the most severe political violence since 2019, when rights groups say hundreds were killed amid demonstrations against a hike in state-controlled gasoline prices.

Iran has also disrupted internet access and tightened restrictions on popular platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp, which can be used to organize rallies.

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