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Iran: Mahsa Amini's father detained by authorities on one-year anniversary of her death

Amini's death in 2022 sparked widespread protests across the nation that led to the deaths of over 600 protesters.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Tehran Published on: September 17, 2023 17:49 IST
Demonstrations in Italy over one-year anniversary of Mahsa
Image Source : AP Demonstrations in Italy over one-year anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in Iran

Iranian authorities have detained 22-year-old Mahsa Amini's on the one-year anniversary of her death on Saturday, according to local journalists and rights groups. Reports said that Amini's father Amjad has been regularly summoned by security officers for months since her death last year, CNN reported.

Amini died on September 16 last year after being arrested on the charges of wearing her hijab improperly. She was reportedly beaten up by officers in the head with a baton after which she called collapsed on the way to a detention centre. Her death provoked widespread protests across Iran, with many refusing to follow the strict dress code.

Amjad was detained for a few hours on Saturday along with his son, an activist told CNN. The son was reportedly warned that he would be banished to a remote village in case he encourages people to attend ceremonies in honour of his sister. 

According to the Guardian, security forces warned Amjad against marking the anniversary of his daughter's death and was told that the family "does not have the right" to leave the house and go to the grave.

However, Iranian authorities strongly denied reports of detaining Amini's father on Saturday as state media outlet described the reports as 'false'. On Tuesday, Amini's uncle Safa Aeli was also arrested by authorities, as per reports.

Earlier, Amini's family visited her grave in the Kurdish city of Saqqez on the eve of the one-year anniversary of her death. 

Security tightened on anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death

Since Amini's death, protests have been held against the dress code, in which 600 protesters have reportedly been killed. Many women stopped wearing hijabs as a challenge to the clerical rule in the Middle Eastern country.

Ahead of the anniversary, Iranian authorities tightened security across the nation and the Aichi cemetry, with large numbers of military personnel and police officers deployed throughout the area, in anticipation of renewed unrest across the country. Armed guards were stationed in several key cities.

However, despite the tight security, people gathered to participate in protests throughout Iran on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of Amini's death. Videos showed protesters chanting "Women, Life, Freedom", while some chanted death slogans against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

People have set up roadblocks and honked their car horns in several Kurdish towns, even as helicopters flew low over Mahsa Amini’s home town of Saqqez and the internet was disrupted as part of the government's efforts to prevent protesters from communicating and gathering.

Crackdown in Iran

Iranian authorities have called the protests as 'foreign-instigated riots' and seven men have been executed in protest-related cases. In the crackdown against protests, Iranian authorities are said to have extended their reach towards journalists and media professionals as well.

As per reports, Iranian authorities have detained or questioned over 90 journalists since the protests in 2022. Journalist Nazila Maroufian was re-arrested on August 30, after being been released on bail in the case of defying Iran's strict dress code.

However, some people staunchly back the strict dress code in Iran. In April, a man was seen throwing yoghurt on two women for not wearing hijabs. The man, as well as the women, were subsequently arrested. Many celebrities, including actress Taraneh Alidoosti, have been 'summoned by the judiciary body over publishing provocative content and that some had been arrested.

ALSO READ | Iran sentences two woman journalists to 3-year imprisonment for conspiracy, collusion

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