Iran protests: Teen’s mom says she died of blows to head

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –


The mom of a 16-year-old Iranian lady has disputed official claims that her daughter fell to her demise from a excessive constructing, saying the teenager was killed by blows to the head as half of the crackdown on anti-hijab protests roiling the nation.


Nasreen Shakarami additionally mentioned authorities saved her daughter Nika’s demise a secret for 9 days after which snatched the physique from a morgue to bury her in a distant space, towards the household’s needs. The bereaved mom spoke in a video message Thursday to Radio Farda, the Persian-language arm of the U.S.-funded station Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.


Nika Shakarami has turn into the most recent icon of the protests, seen because the gravest risk to Iran’s ruling elites in years. Attempts by authorities in latest days to painting the teenager’s demise as an accident may sign concern that the incident may additional gasoline anger towards the federal government.


The protests, which enter their fourth week Saturday, have been sparked by the demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini within the custody of the morality police. They had detained Amini for alleged violations of the nation’s strict Islamic costume code.


Young girls have typically been main the protests, tearing off and defiantly waving their headscarves as they name for toppling the federal government.


The protests shortly unfold to communities throughout Iran and have been met by a harsh authorities crackdown, together with beatings, arrests and killings of demonstrators, in addition to web disruptions.


Human rights teams estimate that dozens of protesters have been killed over the previous three weeks. On Thursday, the London-based group Amnesty International revealed its findings about what seems to be the only deadliest incident to this point — within the metropolis of Zahedan on Sept. 30.


The report mentioned Iranian safety forces killed not less than 66 individuals, together with kids, and wounded a whole lot, after firing dwell rounds at protesters, bystanders and worshippers in a violent crackdown that day. Iranian authorities claimed the Zahedan violence concerned unnamed separatists. More than a dozen individuals have been killed since then within the space, the report mentioned.


Meanwhile, Nika Shakarami’s mom pushed again towards makes an attempt by officers to body her daughter’s demise as an accident.


In her video message, she mentioned that the forensics report confirmed that Nika had died from repeated blows to the head.


Nika’s physique was intact, however some of her tooth, bones in her face and half of the again of her cranium have been damaged, she mentioned. “The injury was to her head,” she mentioned. “Her physique was intact, legs and arms.”


Earlier this week, Iran’s police chief, Gen. Hossein Ashtari, claimed that the teenager had gone to a constructing “and fell from the higher ground at a time of gatherings.” He mentioned that “the autumn from that peak led to her demise.”


Nasreen Shakarami mentioned her daughter left her house in Tehran within the afternoon of Sept. 19 to be a part of anti-hijab protests. She mentioned she was in contact by cellphone with Nika a number of instances within the subsequent few hours, pleading along with her to come house. They final spoke earlier than midnight. “Then Nika’s cellular was off, after she and her mates have been shouting names of forces whereas they have been fleeing,” she mentioned.


The following morning, the household looked for Nika at police stations and prisons, however had no phrase of her whereabouts for 9 days. Authorities lastly handed over the physique on the tenth day and the household headed to the town of Khoramabad for burial, she mentioned. Authorities repeatedly demanded to take possession of the physique, which was within the meantime saved within the Khoramabad morgue.


On the day of the deliberate funeral the household realized that the physique had been snatched from the morgue and was taken to a distant village for burial, underneath heavy safety, Nasreen Shakarami mentioned.


Since the affirmation of her demise, Nika has emerged as one other icon of the protests, alongside Amini. A photograph of Nika, carrying a black T-shirt and sporting a classy two-tone bob haircut and eyeliner, has been extensively circulated on social media.


Authorities arrested Nasreen Shakarami’s brother and sister. The sister, Atash, later mentioned on Iranian TV that her niece fell from a excessive constructing.


Nika’s mom mentioned she believes her siblings had been pressured to echo the official model.


Iran has a protracted historical past of broadcasting pressured confessions.


Also Friday, the official IRNA information company quoted the coroner’s workplace saying examinations discovered that Mahsa Amini died of cerebral hypoxia — through which oxygen provide to the mind decreases. It mentioned she suffered a number of organ failure however “her demise was not led by blunt drive trauma to the head, organs and important elements of the physique.”


It mentioned Amini suffered coronary heart arrhythmia, hypotension and loss of consciousness earlier than been taken to a hospital.


Amini’s household has beforehand disputed official accounts of their daughter’s demise and its trigger whereas in police custody.

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