As Iran grapples with the most serious protests to engulf the country in years -- triggered by he death in police custody of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman detained for allegedly failing to adhere to hijab rules -- heart-rending images and videos have emerged on social media, capturing the anguish of those who have lost loved-ones to the Iranian government's brutal crackdown on protests.
In a video that has been widely shared on social media, a woman is seen chopping of her hair in sorrow over the funeral casket of her brother, Javad Heydari, who was killed by security forces for participating in the protest.
The harrowing footage shows the distraught young woman placing her severed locks of hair over her brother's grave, as a group of mourning women look on in grief.
Mahsa Amini had been detained for allegedly breaking headscarf rules. Officers reportedly beat her head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles. The police have said there is no evidence of any mistreatment and that she suffered "sudden heart failure".
And while Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said that her death will be investigated, his Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has insisted that Amini was not beaten.
"Reports from oversight bodies were received, witnesses were interviewed, videos were reviewed, forensic opinions were obtained and it was found that there had been no beating," he said.
While authorities say Mahsa Amini died from underlying health reasons, her family and countless other Iranians believe she died as a result of having been beaten.
Iranians took to the streets for a tenth consecutive night Sunday, in defiance of a warning from the judiciary, to protest the death of the young Kurdish woman.
At least 41 people have died since the unrest began, mostly protesters but including members of the Islamic republic's security forces, according to an official toll, although other sources say the real figure is higher.
Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) on Sunday evening said the toll was at least 57, but noted that ongoing internet blackouts were making it increasingly difficult to confirm fatalities in a context where the women-led protests have in recent nights spread to scores of cities.
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