Iranian authorities on Friday rejected reports that security forces killed a 16-year-old girl amid protests after a woman in detention died, claiming she committed suicide by jumping off a roof.
According to allegations on social media and the rights organization Amnesty International, security personnel beat Sarina Esmaeilzadeh on the head with a baton during demonstrations following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, while she was being held by the morality police, resulting in her death.
Authorities earlier this week cited falling off a roof as the cause of death for 17-year-old Nika Shakarami, who activists claim died in Tehran while protesting the death of Amini.
The largest challenge to Iran’s religious leadership in years has resulted in thousands of arrests, hundreds of injuries, and more than 150 deaths, according to rights groups.
Women have been actively involved, waving and setting fire to headscarves. Girls in high school have also participated.
According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, Esmaeilzadeh’s death was determined to be the result of suicide after she fell from the roof of a five-story building, according to the chief justice of the province where she died, Alborz.
Claims regarding her death made in opposition media, according to Chief Justice Hossein Fazeli Herikandi, are “lies.” Esmaeilzadeh has a history of suicide attempts, according to her mother’s statement, he claimed. On September 24, according to him, police were informed of her passing. Her family was not reachable by Reuters for comment.
As one of at least 52 persons killed by security forces between Sept. 19 and Sept. 25, according to a Sept. 30 report by Amnesty International, Esmaeilzadeh “died after being severely beaten in the head with batons.”
Around 147,000 people have watched a video of Esmaeilzadeh grinning while listening to music on the well-known 1500tasvir Twitter account.
Tehran police detained Amini on September 13 for “inappropriate attire.” She allegedly had a heart attack after being transported to a station to be “educated,” according to the officials.
Her family has disputed that she ever experienced heart issues. According to her father, she had bruises on her legs. He also blames the cops for her passing.
A probe has been requested by the government.
State media reported earlier this week that a legal case had been initiated into Shakarami’s death; however, officials later denied any connection to the turmoil, asserting that she had fallen off a roof and had no bullet wounds in her body. She allegedly died in Tehran while protesting, according to activists.