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Iran protests escalate after security forces kill a 16-year-old protester

Protests in Iran have gone for four weeks, and continue to rage as protesters have mysteriously died

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Thousands showed their support for Iranian protesters during a demonstration in The Hague, Netherlands.

Thousands showed their support for Iranian protesters standing up to their leadership over the death of a young woman in police custody, during a demonstration in The Hague, Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets over the last two weeks to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by Iran’s morality police in the capital of Tehran for allegedly not adhering to Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.

Peter Dejong, Associated Press

Protests against government influence continue in Iran and around the world. A 16-year-old named Sarina Esmaeilzadeh was killed by security forces during the protests, which has renewed ire in protesters fighting against government control and violence.

Who is Iranian 16-year-old Sarina Esmaeilzadeh?

Sarina Esmaeilzadeh joined the protests that started in September, but during the protests, rights groups say she was “beaten to death by Iranian security forces,” per The Washington Post.

However, Iranian authorities denied responsibility for her death and claim that “she died by suicide by jumping off a roof,” according to The Washington Post.

The nonprofit organization Iran Human Rights alleges Esmaeilzadeh’s death follows a pattern of brutal beatings by Iranian security forces, and her family was forced to hold a quick private burial “under strict security measures.”

The rights group claims that authorities only allowed her family to see her face for identification and “multiple injuries were clearly visible on her face and the right side of her forehead was completely crushed due to the severity of the blows.”

Have other people been killed during the protests in Iran?

Iran Human Rights says that after four weeks of unrest, at least 185 people have been killed.

Initial protests began after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was beaten and killed by police forces for failing to adhere to strict morality laws, citing that she was taken into morality police custody for wearing a loose hijab, per The New York Times.

“The Iranian authorities knowingly decided to harm or kill people who took to the streets to express their anger at decades of repression and injustice,” Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard said on Amnesty International’s news blog.