Four Iranian police officers were injured and one "police assistant" was killed in the city of Shiraz on Tuesday, as protests continued to rock several major Iranian cities for the fifth straight day, following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, reported Iran's state-controlled IRNA news agency.
“On Tuesday evening, some people clashed with police officers and as a result one of the police assistants was killed. In this incident, four other police officers were injured in Shiraz,” IRNA said, adding that up to 15 protestors were arrested by the police.
Amini, arrested in the capital Tehran last week by Iran's morality police, was accused of breaking the law requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab. She died in a hospital on Friday, after three days spent in a coma.
Was Amini beaten by the police?
Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif claimed that there were reports that Amini was was beaten with batons by the police, suffering injuries to the head. There were also reports that Amini had her bashed against a police vehicle by the law enforcement authorites.
The 22-year-old was from Kurdistan Province in western Iran, where three people were killed on Monday as security forces opened fire on protesters.
The governor of Iran’s Kurdistan province confirmed on Tuesday the deaths of three people during protests sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody, and the official accused anti-government demonstrators of being responsible for the deaths.
Esmail Zarei-Kousha said three people from different regions in Kurdistan were killed during “illegal gatherings,” adding: “Investigations have shown that these people were shot and killed by the enemies of the regime and with weapons that none of the security and military forces in the province use.”
He did not specify when the deaths occurred.
Women protestors burn hijabs
Meanwhile, videos shared on social media showed infuriated women protestors in the town of Sari, in Iran's Mazandaran province, taking off their hijabs and burning them in a pile.
In the city of Kerman, footage circulated on social media showed a young woman ripping off her hijab, and then proceeding to cut off her hair -- a traditional sing of mourning among women in the Middle East -- all whilst chanting "Death to the Dictator!", presumably referring to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Signs of the growing unease of authorities were evident: On Monday, an aide to Khamenei visited Amini's family, and assured her loved ones that "all institutions will take action to defend the rights that were violated", IRNA reported.
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