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Protests in Iran over death of Mahsa Amini leave 41 dead: reports

Demonstrators and security forces are becoming more aggressive amid protests against the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody

September 26, 2022
By AAP
26 September 2022

A total of 41 people have been killed since the start of protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody, Iranian broadcaster IRIB reports. 

There was no official confirmation of the figure.

The protests continued through the night into the early hours of Sunday, according to the report, with videos circulating on social media showing demonstrators in Tehran and other parts of the country. 

It was not possible to independently verify the footage.

According to eyewitnesses in the capital, both security forces and protesters are turning more and more violent.

Security forces were cracking down on demonstrators more aggressively and gunfire could increasingly be heard, they said.

Meanwhile, younger protesters in particular were becoming more violent, damaging public buildings, setting cars and bins on fire and beating up police officers.

Demonstrators also chanted slogans like “Death to the dictator,” “This is the year of bloodshed” and “We’d rather die than continue to endure humiliation!”.

Protests erupted after Amini fell into a coma and died in hospital days after she was arrested on September 13 for not covering herself according to the country’s strict Islamic dress code. 

It is unclear what caused her death. Critics accuse the morality police of using violence. 

The police reject the accusations and the country’s Interior Ministry said on Saturday they were not to blame, claiming that the young woman died of heart failure at the police station.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been demonstrating across the country against the government, with hundreds arrested so far.

Meanwhile, thousands of government supporters gathered for counter-demonstrations in Tehran and other cities on Sunday, according to reports by state media.

Protesters chanted slogans like “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” as well as “We follow the system and the Islamic leaders!”.

They also threatened those critical of the system, the reports said.

Critics have repeatedly accused the government of staging counter demonstrations to quell protests, making it look like the majority of the population supports the country’s authorities.

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