Police stations torched in protests over Iranian woman's death

DUBAI - Protesters in Teheran and several other Iranian cities torched police stations and vehicles on Thursday, as unrest triggered by the death of a woman detained by the morality police intensified for a sixth day.

Ms Mahsa Amini, 22, died last Friday after being arrested for wearing "unsuitable attire". The authorities have said they will launch an investigation into the cause of death.

The incident has unleashed huge anger in the population and the worst protests in Iran since 2019.

At least 11 people have been killed. Most protests have been concentrated in Iran's Kurdish-populated north-western regions, but they have spread to the capital and at least 50 cities and towns nationwide, with police using force to disperse demonstrators.

In the north-east, protesters shouted "We will die! We will die! But we'll get Iran back!" near a police station that was set on fire, a video on Twitter showed.

It was posted by the account @1500tasvir, which focuses on protests in Iran and has more than 100,000 followers.

Another police station was set ablaze in Teheran as the unrest spread from Kurdistan, Ms Amini's home province.

The coun try's rulers fear a revival of the 2019 protests over petrol price rises, the bloodiest in Iran's history, when it was reported that 1,500 were killed.

Protesters also expressed anger at Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Mojtaba, may you die and not become supreme leader," a crowd was seen chanting in Teheran, referring to the Ayatollah's son, who some believe could succeed his father at the top of the political establishment.

Reports from Kurdish rights group Hengaw said three protesters were killed by security forces on Wednesday.

The death toll stands at 11 when four security militiamen who were killed are added to the toll.

Officials have denied that security forces have killed protesters, suggesting they may have been shot by armed dissidents.

With no sign of the protests easing, the authorities restricted access to the Internet, according to accounts from Hengaw, residents, and Internet shutdown observatory NetBlocks.

Ms Amini's death has unleashed fury across Iran over issues including freedoms in the country and an economy reeling from sanctions.

Women have played a prominent role, waving and burning their veils, with some cutting their hair in public. In northern Iran, crowds armed with batons and rocks attacked two members of the security forces on a motorbike as a crowd cheered. \

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2022, with the headline Police stations torched in protests over Iranian woman's death. Subscribe