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Mom of protester Nika Shakarami disputes Iran’s official story of her loss of life


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

Nasreen Shakarami additionally mentioned authorities saved her daughter Nika’s loss of life a secret for 9 days after which snatched the physique from a morgue to bury her in a distant space, in opposition to 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 menace to Iran’s ruling elites in years. Makes an attempt by authorities in current days to painting the teenager’s loss of life as an accident might sign concern that the incident might additional gas anger in opposition to the federal government.

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

Amini was arrested on Sept. 13 in Tehran for “inappropriate apparel” for allegedly not sporting her hijab correctly. The authorities have mentioned she suffered a coronary heart assault after being taken to a station to be “educated.”

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

The protests rapidly 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 Worldwide printed its findings about what seems to be the only deadliest incident to date — within the metropolis of Zahedan on Sept. 30.

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

In the meantime, Nika Shakarami’s mom pushed again in opposition to makes an attempt by officers to border her daughter’s loss of life as an accident.

Mom says she died of blows to the pinnacle

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

Nika’s physique was intact, however a few of her enamel, bones in her face and a part 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 loss of life.”

Nasreen Shakarami mentioned her daughter left her residence in Tehran within the afternoon of Sept. 19 to affix anti-hijab protests. She mentioned she was in contact by telephone with Nika a number of occasions within the subsequent few hours, pleading together with her to return residence. They final spoke earlier than midnight. “Then Nika’s cellular was off, after she and her associates have been shouting names of forces whereas they have been fleeing,” she mentioned.

The next 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 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.

Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad mentioned the teenager’s Telegram, WhatsApp and Instagram accounts have been deactivated someday on Sept. 20.

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, beneath heavy safety, Nasreen Shakarami mentioned.

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

Aunt and uncle have been arrested

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.

Additionally 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 loss of life was not led by blunt drive trauma to the pinnacle, organs and important components of the physique.”

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

Amini’s household rejected the coroner’s report, as a result of authorities had did not seek the advice of with medical specialists as requested by the household, BBC Persian reported.

Mahsa Amini’s father has beforehand mentioned her corpse confirmed clear indicators of being overwhelmed, and mentioned he holds police chargeable for her loss of life. Her household has additionally denied she had any coronary heart issues.

The coroner’s report did not say whether or not she had suffered any accidents.

Iran denies safety forces killed 2nd teen

On Friday, Iranian authorities mentioned one more teenage protester dedicated suicide by falling off a roof.

Nonetheless, social media stories and rights group Amnesty Worldwide have mentioned Sarina Esmaeilzadeh, 16, was killed by safety forces when she was struck with batons on the pinnacle throughout protests over the loss of life of Mahsa Amini.

A lady cuts her hair throughout a protest in opposition to the Islamic regime of Iran and the loss of life of Mahsa Amini in entrance of the Iranian Embassy in Madrid on Thursday. (Juan Medina/Reuters)

The chief justice of Alborz province the place Esmaeilzadeh died mentioned a preliminary investigation confirmed her loss of life was brought on by  suicide from a fall from the roof of a five-storey constructing, the semi-official ISNA information company mentioned.

Chief justice Hossein Fazeli Herikandi mentioned claims in opposition media about her loss of life have been “lies.”

“Primarily based on her mom’s account, Esmaeilzadeh had a historical past of suicide makes an attempt,” he mentioned. Police acquired a report of her loss of life on Sept. 24, he mentioned.

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