September 29, 2023

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Iranian security forces briefly detained Mahsa Amini’s father a year after her death

Iranian security forces briefly detained Mahsa Amini’s father a year after her death

A woman takes part in a protest against the Islamic regime in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini in Istanbul, Turkey on December 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dilara Sinkaya // Archive photo Obtaining licensing rights

September 16 (Reuters) – Iranian security forces briefly detained Mahsa Amini’s father on Saturday and deployed to Kurdish-majority areas of the country a year after she died in police custody, leading to some of the largest protests since the fall of the Shah in 2016. 1979.

State media reported the arrest of several “counter-revolutionaries” and “terrorists” in various Iranian cities, and said security forces had foiled plans to create unrest around illegal demonstrations.

The death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was arrested by morality police last year on charges of violating a mandatory dress code, sparked several months of the largest protests against Shiite clerical rule in the Islamic Republic ever. It sparked international condemnation.

On Saturday, the first anniversary of her death, large-scale security forces were deployed in Kurdish-majority areas of Iran on Saturday in anticipation of unrest, according to human rights groups.

But footage posted on social media showed clear protests in areas including Gohardasht, a neighborhood in the city of Karaj, west of the capital, Tehran, and in the city of Mashhad, in the northeast of the country.

One video posted on social media showed a group of protesters in Gohardasht chanting, “We are a great nation, and we will take back Iran,” while drivers honked their horns and shouted encouragement. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video.

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The Kurdistan Human Rights Network said that Mahsa’s father, Amjad Amini, was warned against commemorating his daughter’s death before he was released. The official IRNA news agency denied the arrest of Amjad Amini, but did not say whether he had been briefly detained or warned.

Earlier, social media and human rights groups reported that security forces had taken up positions around Amini’s home in Saqez, western Iran.

US President Joe Biden said in a statement on Friday: “Mahsa’s story did not end with her brutal death. She inspired a historic movement – Women, Life, Freedom – that has impacted Iran and impacted people around the world.”

On Friday, Britain imposed sanctions on four Iranian officials, and the United States said it was imposing sanctions on more than two dozen individuals and entities linked to the “violent suppression” of protests in Iran.

According to social media posts, Amini’s parents said in a statement earlier this week that despite government warnings, they would hold a “traditional and religious memorial ceremony” at their 22-year-old daughter’s grave in Saqqez.

Large-scale strikes were reported in multiple cities in the Iranian Kurdistan region.

But the Islamic Republic News Agency said that the town of Saqqez, Amini’s hometown, was “completely calm” and that calls for a strike in the Kurdish regions had failed due to “people’s vigilance and the presence of security forces and the army.”

It quoted an official in the Kurdistan region as saying: “A number of agents affiliated with anti-revolutionary groups who planned to cause chaos and prepare media material were arrested in the early hours of this morning.”

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Human rights groups said that in the protests that followed Amini’s death, more than 500 people were killed, including 71 minors, hundreds were injured and thousands were arrested. Iran carried out seven executions linked to the unrest.

Amnesty International said in a report last month that Iranian authorities “subject families of victims to arbitrary arrest and detention, impose harsh restrictions on peaceful gatherings at grave sites, and destroy tombstones of victims.”

Many journalists, lawyers, activists, students, academics, artists, public figures and members of ethnic minorities accused of links to the protest wave, as well as relatives of demonstrators killed in the unrest, were arrested, summoned, threatened or expelled. In the past few weeks, according to Iranian and Western human rights groups.

Iranian daily newspaper Etemad reported in August that Amini’s family lawyer was also facing charges of “propaganda against the regime.” If convicted, Saleh Nakbakht faces a prison sentence of between one and three years.

Editing by Toby Chopra, Alex Richardson and Nick Macfie

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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