Iran’s Raisi meets families of forces killed in protests

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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has met with families of security personnel killed during mass protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini last year, state media reported Saturday.

Raisi held the meetings during a visit to the northeastern city of Mashhad on Friday, on the eve of the first anniversary of Amini’s death.

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Iran was gripped by nationwide demonstrations following Amini’s death days after her arrest by Tehran’s morality police for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code for women.

Hundreds of people were killed, including dozens of security force members, during the months-long protests, and thousands more were arrested.

“Raisi met today with the families of security defenders,” the official IRNA news agency said.

His meetings included the families of Danial Rezazadeh and Hossein Zeinalzadeh, Tasnim news agency said.

Rezazadeh and Zeinalzadeh were members of the pro-government Basij paramilitary force who were killed when they intervened to stop the protests on November 17, state media said at the time.

Their death was blamed on MajidReza Rahnavard, one of seven people Iran’s judiciary later executed over their links to the protests.

On Saturday, Iranian authorities arrested several groups on accusations of “planning to create chaos” and producing content to serve “hostile media”, according to IRNA.

The news agency said some of these groups were from Amini’s home province of Kurdistan as well as others in Iran’s northwest and south.

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