Iranian police called Mahsa Amini’s death “regrettable” as protesters took to the streets


Iranian police described Mahsa Amini’s death as an “unfortunate incident” and denied that she had been physically harmed during her arrest, the semi-official Fars News agency said on Monday.

Amini, 22, who was arrested and detained by Iran’s Moral Police in Tehran, died on Friday after falling into a coma.

CCTV footage released by Iran’s state media showed her collapsing at a “re-education” center where she was taken by morality police to receive “guidance” on her attire.

“It was an unfortunate incident for us and we never want to see such an incident,” Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi said at a press conference on Monday.

Rahimi said that “false accusations” were made against the Iranian police and that Amini was not physically harmed during and after his arrest.

He added that the police “did everything” to keep him alive.

Iranian officials said Amini died after suffering a “heart attack” after his arrest on Tuesday, but his family said he had no pre-existing heart disease, according to Emtedad news, which purportedly spoke to pro-reform Iranian media. Amini’s father.

Students took to the streets in Tehran on Monday demanding justice and accountability for Amini’s death as protesters clashed with police in Iranian cities in northwestern Kurdistan over the weekend, semi-official news agencies reported.

A video circulating on social media showed women in Tehran removing their hijabs and waving as they chanted “death to the dictator” on Monday. Another video showed a motorcycle burning in a street area where the capital’s judicial building is located.

Fars, the government-aligned news agency, published a video showing the demonstration in the Kurdistan provincial capital of Sanandaj late Sunday and chanting anti-government slogans.

According to Fars, the protesters were “unconvinced” by the police’s justification for Amini’s death, saying he died “under torture”.

Security forces fired tear gas at protesters at Amini’s funeral in his hometown of Saqqez on Saturday, Fars said, while protesters demanding answers threw stones at the government office, the semi-official Mehr news agency said.

At least 38 people were injured in the protests in the two cities, according to a report released on Sunday by the Hengaw Human Rights Organization, a Norwegian-registered organization that monitors rights abuses in Iran.

US Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley took to Twitter on Friday to call on Iran to “end inappropriate violence against women for exercising their basic rights”.

“Those responsible for his death must be held accountable,” he added.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said he “categorically rejects the interventionist statements of the United States authorities related to Iran’s internal affairs.”

“If the American government is concerned about the Iranian nation, it should lift decades of cruel, unilateral and illegal blockade against the Iranian nation,” he added.