Iranian Kurdish Mahsa Amini’s death was caused by illness and not beatings or beatings, according to an official medical report published on Friday, three weeks after she died in custody.
Amini, 22, died on September 16, three days after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran by morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.
Anger over her death has sparked the biggest wave of protests to rock Iran in nearly three years and a crackdown that has killed dozens of protesters and arrested scores.
Despite the use of deadly force by security forces, the women-led protests have continued for 20 consecutive days and nights, according to online videos verified by AFP.
Iran’s Forensic Organization said on Friday that “Mahsa Amini’s death was not caused by blows to the head and vital organs and limbs of the body.”
The death of Amini, whose Kurdish first name is Jhina, was related to “brain tumour surgery at the age of eight,” he said in a statement.
Amini’s grieving parents filed a complaint against the officers involved, and one of his cousins who live in Iraq told AFP he died of “a violent blow to the head.”
Other young women have been killed in the protests, but Amnesty International says Iran has been forcing their families to confess on television to “absolve itself of responsibility for their deaths”.
The human rights group Amnesty International said on September 30 that Esmailzadeh, 16, “died after being severely beaten on the head with batons” a week earlier.
Alborz province prosecutor Hossein Fazeli Harikandi said an “initial investigation” shows that she had “committed suicide”, Mizan reported.
Esmailzadeh “jumped 20 minutes after midnight on September 24” from “a building located near her grandmother’s house” in the northeast of the city, Harikandi added.
Analysts do not believe the clerical establishment is close to being overthrown despite growing frustration with the strict social and political constraints imposed in the past four decades since the fall of the US-backed Shah. The United States has called for accountability for Amini’s death “following injuries sustained while she was in police custody.”
On Thursday, Washington imposed sanctions on seven Iranian officials for shutting down internet access and cracking down. Women have played a prominent role in the protests, waving and burning headscarves.
Meanwhile, rights activist group HRANA released a statement saying it signed with 161 other rights and feminist groups calling on the United Nations to investigate alleged rights violations in the country. Iranian media reported on Friday that authorities had denied reports that security forces killed a 16-year-old girl during the protests, citing a chief justice as saying she killed herself by falling from a roof.
Reports from social media and the human rights group Amnesty International have said that security forces killed Sarina Esmaeilzadeh when they hit her on the head with batons during the protests. Earlier this week, authorities gave a similar cause of death, a falling roof, for 17-year-old Nika Shakarami, who activists say was killed in Tehran while she was demonstrating.
On September 25, the Tasnim news agency reported the arrest of “riot leaders” in “several districts of Karaj, including Rajaishahr,” adjacent to Azimieh, where Harikandi said the girl was killed.
The judiciary also said on Wednesday that the death of another 16-year-old girl, Nika Shahkarami, was not related to the Amini protests. She disappeared on September 20 after a protest in the capital.
In a video sent Thursday to overseas-based Persian-language media, Shahkarami’s mother blamed authorities for her death.
Demonstrations across Iran have led to dozens of deaths among protesters and members of the security forces, as well as hundreds of arrests.
Protesters filmed themselves burning their hijabs and cutting their hair in an act of defiance against Iran’s women’s dress code that was picked up by celebrities abroad, including Oscar-winning actresses Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei blamed the United States and Israel for the unrest, accusing the countries of trying to stop Iran’s “progress.”
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