At least 185 people, including 13 children, have died so far in Iran in the anti-government protests since September 17. The protests, which started after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, have snowballed into one of the worsts protests the Islamic country has seen in the recent past.
A brief on the case:
22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iran's 'morality police' on September 13 for breaching Iran's strict dress code for women.
She was travelling with her brother when she was arrested.
Amini was detained, and as per her family, she was later arrested and tortured in police custody.
Three days later, on September 16, she was taken to a police hospital where she was declared dead.
Her family maintained that Amini was brutally tortured by the police in custody and as a result of being hit on head, she succumbed to the injuries.
However, the police said that Amini, died of cardiac arrest.
Protests started in her town Saqez on September 17, and have since then entered the fourth week of the protest.
This is also one of the worst protests the Islamic country has seen in the recent years in which more than 185 people have died.
Hengaw, a Norway-based Kurdish rights group said that "widespread strikes" were taking place in Saqez, Sanandaj and Divandarresh, in Kurdistan province as well as Mahabad in West Azerbaijan province, Al Jazeera reported.
To contain the protests, the government has also banned internet in several places to prevent the crowd gatherings and further amplifying of the protests.
Iran government blames foreign forces for the protests:
The Iran government has said that foreign powers like United States and Israel are behind the orchestration of destructive violence and protests in Iran.
The Iran authoirties last week also arrested nine foreign nationals from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Netherlands.
On Friday, the French government had advised its nationals to visting Iran to leave the country as soon as possible.
The Dutch government also asked its citizens to avoid travelling to Iran and leave the country when they can safely.
Iran authorities claim Amini died of multiple organs failure:
The government of Iran has outrightly denied that Amini died from the blows on her body and rather said that she died of multiple organ failure due to underlying diseases which she had. An official media reported released on Friday (September 7) said this.
The report cited the death caused by cerebral hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain, the official IRNA news agency said.
Contradicting this, lawyer for Amini's family, Saleh Nikbakht, previously told the semi-official Etemadonline news website that "respectable doctors" believe se was hit in custody.