Sunday, October 1, 2023

One year after Mahsa Amini’s death, authorities prevent family from holding ceremony

Iranian authorities on Saturday prevented Mahsa Amini’s family from holding a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of her death and banned her father from leaving his home after briefly detaining him, human rights groups said.

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Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, died on September 16, 2022 after being arrested for allegedly violating the strict dress code imposed on women, one of the ideological pillars of the Islamic Republic since the fall of the secular shah in 1979. Mahsa Amini’s family claims she died from a blow to the head, but authorities deny this version of events.

Her death was followed by angry protests in Iran led largely by women who openly challenged the regime and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Mahsa Amini’s father, Amjad Amini, was arrested on Saturday as he left his family home in the western city of Saghez and later released after being ordered not to organize a commemoration in front of the deceased’s grave, the NGO Kurdistan Human said. Rights Network. (KHRN), 1500tasvir monitor and Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Norway.

He is now no longer allowed to leave his house and members of the security forces are stationed outside, the NGOs added in separate statements.

Protests organized immediately after Mahsa Amini’s death lost momentum after several months in the face of a crackdown in which 551 protesters, including 68 children and 49 women, were killed by security forces, according to the IHR, and more than others. 22,000 were arrested, according to Amnesty International. Seven men were also executed for acts related to these demonstrations.

Activists say repression has intensified as the first anniversary approaches, including attacks on relatives of those killed during the protests to ensure they do not speak.

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Relatives of at least 36 people killed or executed during the crackdown were questioned, arrested, prosecuted or sentenced to prison in August, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

“Iranian authorities are attempting to suppress dissent to prevent public commemoration of the death in custody of Mahsa Jina Amini, which has become a symbol of the government’s systematic oppression of women, injustice and impunity,” said Tara Sepehri Far, Iran researcher at HRW.

The two journalists who ont the most suivi l’affaire, Niloufar Hamedi et Elahe Mohammadi, sont imprisonnées depuis près d’un, tandis qu’une autre, Nazila Maroufian, who interviewed Mahsa’s père, Amjad Amini, a été arrêtée repeatedly.

According to the NGO Hengaw, which monitors the situation of the Kurds, the government has sent additional security forces to Saghez, Mahsa Amini’s hometown, and other towns that could become sensitive areas this weekend.

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Separately, the Iranian Parliament is considering a bill known as “Support for the Culture of Hijab and Chastity,” which provides for much harsher penalties for violating existing legislation.

Amnesty International accused Iranian leaders of having committed a “litany of crimes under international law to eradicate any challenge to their iron grip on power”, deploring that no official has been the subject of an investigation into Mahsa Amini’s death or the repression.

On the eve of this anniversary, the United States, at odds with Iran and its Western allies, including the United Kingdom and the European Union, imposed new sanctions on Tehran over its crackdown on protests.

In reaction to these sanctions, Iran denounced “interventionist statements” on Saturday.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi met on Saturday with relatives of members of the security forces killed during the 2022 protest movement.

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