Iran marked the first year since the death in custody of a Kurdish Iranian woman with heightened security in anticipation of unrest in her home town of Saghez, rights and activist groups said.
(Bloomberg) — Iran marked the first year since the death in custody of a Kurdish Iranian woman with heightened security in anticipation of unrest in her home town of Saghez, rights and activist groups said.
The death of Mahsa Amini, 22, triggered weeks of nationwide protests that transcended opposition to state suppression of women for defying dress codes and set in motion the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement that posed the biggest challenge to the country’s clerical leadership in decades.
Amjad Amini, father of the deceased woman, was detained and held in custody for hours on Saturday, according to the Kurdish rights group Hengaw Organization for Human Rights.
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The activist account 1500 Tasvir said in a post on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that the Amini family remained forcibly under house arrest. The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency denied Amini’s arrest and said Saghez, in Iran’s Kurdistan province, was “in complete peace.” The reports couldn’t be independently verified by Bloomberg.
In Tehran and Karaj, a city west of the capital, where deadly clashes erupted following Amini’s death, anti-riot police were deployed and heavy-duty vehicles were seen patrolling the streets.
Rights groups said more than 500 people were killed in Iran’s months-long crackdown on protests. At least seven men, most of them in their 20s, were hanged for their alleged roles in unrest and thousands more were jailed, according to Amnesty International.
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The developments follow concerns over the safety of scores of people still imprisoned in connection with protests.
In August, Javad Rouhi, a 35-year-old man convicted of rioting and fanning protests, died from “convulsion” after being rushed to a hospital from prison, the judiciary’s official Mizan news agency reported. Originally handed a death sentence that was overturned by Iran’s supreme court, Rouhi had served nearly a year in jail and his family had been expecting his release on bail, according to the Shargh newspaper.
In December, the suspension of the “morality police”, the unit that arrested Amini outside a subway entrance in Tehran for allegedly flouting Islamic dress codes, signaled a potential loosening of grip on strict hijab rules. But a new wave of crackdowns quickly ensued.
Authorities also arrested Iranian artists and public personalities for supporting protests, appearing without headscarves, or on a range of other charges.
In August, director Saeed Roustaee was sentenced to prison after attending the 2022 Cannes Film Festival to screen his movie “Leila’s Brothers” without obtaining permission from authorities.
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