Five people have been killed by Iranian security forces during protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who was in custodyaccording to a human rights observer.
The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, a Norwegian-registered organization that monitors rights abuses in Iran, said five people were shot and killed during protests in Iran’s Kurdish region on Monday. He said another 75 people were injured in other cities over the weekend.
CNN was unable to independently verify the death and injury reports.
Protests erupted after the death of Amena 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in Tehran after being arrested by Iranian morality police last week.
Iranian officials said Amini died on Friday after suffering a “heart attack” and falling into a coma following her arrest last Tuesday. However, her family said she had no pre-existing heart condition, said Emtedad News, a pro-reform Iranian outlet that claimed to have spoken to Amini’s father.
Edited security camera footage released by Iranian state media appears to show Amini collapsing at a “re-education” center where she was taken for “counselling” on her dress code.
Iran’s morality police are part of the country’s law enforcement and are tasked with enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict social rules, including its dress code that requires women to wear a headscarf, or hijab, in public. .
Iranian police said Amini’s death was an “unfortunate incident” and denied being physically harmed while in custody, Iran’s semi-official Fars News agency said on Monday.
Iranian officials said they performed an autopsy on Amini’s body. Speaking on state television on Saturday, Iran’s Forensic Organization director Mehdi Forozesh said the results would be made public after further examination by medical experts.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi said police had “done everything” to keep her alive.
But the police explanations were not accepted by protesters who took to the streets in Tehran and other cities on Monday, demanding justice and accountability.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that protesters were “unconvinced” by the police justification for Amini’s death and claimed she died “under torture”.
After Amini’s funeral ceremony on Saturday, security forces fired tear gas at protesters in his hometown of Saqqez in Iran’s Kurdistan province, Fars said, while Iran’s semi-official news agency Mehr said the protesters demanded answers from the police and allegedly threw rocks at the governor’s office.
Fars also posted a video showing protesters demonstrating in Kurdistan’s provincial capital, Sanandaj, late Sunday and chanting slogans against those responsible.
A video shared by the Free Union of Iranian Workers showed protesters in Sanandaj chanting “death to the dictator”. Another video showed women taking off their hijabs and waving them in protest in Tehran.
Separately, internet watchdog NetBlocks said on Monday that its real-time data showed a “near total disruption of internet connectivity in Sanandaj”.