Protests in Iran growing deadlier 

When Mahsa Amini was arrested last week, authorities in Iran had no idea of the turmoil that was soon to rock the country. 

The 22-year-old was detained by Iranian morality police last week, allegedly for failing to wear a headscarf (hijab) as required by law. Three days later, she passed away in a hospital. Authorities claim she died from a heart attack, but that has been disputed by her family. According to her relatives and witnesses, the police beat Amini in a van, causing her to eventually go into a coma. Since then, protests against the Iranian government have drawn thousands of people from all around the nation, and it’s been deadly. 

Deadly! Have there been more deaths? 

According to human rights organizations, at least five persons have died, and hundreds more have reportedly been injured. Three deaths were confirmed by Iranian authorities, as official resistance seems to be emboldening the protesters. In perhaps the greatest defiance to the authorities in years, the demonstrators are daring the law as video footage shows some people burning their hijabs and cutting their hair in public. “Life, liberty, and women” is being chanted by some protesters, with others chanting “Death to the tyrant”. It remains to be seen how long before either side yields. 

Any word from the government? 

The government has maintained a hard line against the protests, with the governor of Tehran accusing the demonstrators of being an organized group set on committing “sedition.” Some protestors have attacked law enforcement with rocks or set police cars on fire. In return, Police have been seen slamming demonstrators to the ground with batons, water cannons, and tear gas as tensions rise. Additionally, some users have reported restrictions on access to Instagram and WhatsApp. 

In response to U.S Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s “call on the Iranian government to end its systemic persecution of women and to allow peaceful protest”, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian accused the U.S. of “shedding crocodile tears”. But try as they may, Iranian authorities are finding a significant number of irritated youths, who are increasingly online, a hard nut to crack. 

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