On the twentieth night of nationwide protests, Iran’s chief of police denied that Mahsa Amini had been physically assaulted by police officers while in custody, while the US Treasury Department sanctioned seven senior officials of the Islamic Republic for their role in suppressing popular protests and blocking Iranians' access to the internet since Mahsa’s Septembet 16 death.
The mother of 16-year-old Nika Shakarami, who died during the protests, rejected the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s (IRIB) account of how her daughter died in a new interview with Radio Farda. But there remain many ambiguities and contradictions about the forced confessions of Shakarami’s aunt and uncle. And the Mizan news agency, meanwhile, affiliated with Iran’s judiciary, stated that Sarina Esmaeilzadeh, another teenager killed during the protests, died by suicide.
The lies continue
Nika Shakarami's mother has denied government's claims about the death of her teenage daughter in a videoposted online. Social media users reacted with outrage when the television news show "20:30" reported on the manner of Shakarami's death, and the forced confessions of her aunt and uncle, confirming the government's claims.
Mizan News Agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s judiciary, claimed in a news article that another girl killed during the protests, Sarina Esmaeilzadeh, died by suicide. Since yesterday, many videos of Esmaeilzadeh have gone viral on social media. She had a Telegram channel which she would regularly use to share her thoughts. In one of her videos, she says: "We are not like the previous generations who only saw their own lives. We have seen what life is like for a child living in Ethiopia, and a teenager having fun in Los Angeles and New York. As human beings, we are perfectionists and we want to lead better lives – like the ones we see happening elsewhere.”
The wave of arrests continues
As mass protests continue in cities across Iran, people from all walks of life face arrest and suppression.
Reports confirm that among those arrested are Samaneh Mousavi, a dentist from Tehran; civil activists Yousef Kari and Firoz Moini in Ardabil; Ramin Behzad and Bahram Yaqoubi in Tabriz; and Khalil Moradi and Bahram Jafari in Naqadeh.
Chief of police denies physical confrontation
Twenty days have passed since the nationwide protests broke out in response to the death of Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the morality police. Now, the chief of police, Hossein Ashtari has denied that police physically assaulted Amini while she was in custody.
In a meeting with religious leaders in Qom, Ashtari said: "The police force has not been negligent and is not at fault in the death of Mahsa Amini. There was no physical confrontation." During the meeting, Ashtari voiced his support for the police’s actions, and said: "The police are right to fight against those who attack and loot people's property, and intend to disturb the peace.”
Meanwhile, the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights announced the death of another teenager victim of the security forces in recent protests on Thursday, October 6.
According to Hengaw, a 16-year-old teenager from Salmas, named Nima Shafighdoust, was wounded by direct fire from government forces during the protests in Urmia and then arrested by security agencies. The boy’s body was later handed over to his family. His family received his body on Wednesday, October 5, and were threatened by security agencies not to disclose the news to the media.
TV presenter quits in Instagram post
Mojtaba Pourbakhsh, the producer and presenter of Sports Network, indirectly announced in an Instagram post that he is quitting IRAB, Iran's state broadcasting organization. He wrote on his official Instagram page: "A man's dignity is measured by his actions." On September 21, IranWire learned that Pourbakhsh had been dismissed from his job until further notice and would not be allowed to enter the organization.
Famous photographer yet to be granted bail
Donya Rad’s sister tweeted on Thursday, October 6, that the famous photographer of "Breakfast with a taste of freedom in Tehran," has been transferred to Qarchak prison. The tweet added that Rad's family is still waiting for her release on bail.
According to Rad’s sister, bail was issued for her sister's temporary release, and next Saturday the family will be able to apply for the paperwork to convert temporary detention into bail.
Molavi Abdol Hamid denies the government's narrative
On October 6, Molavi Abdol Hamid, the Sunni Friday imam of Zahedan city, denied the Iranian government’s narrative about the role of "separatist" ethnic and Sunni groups in the deadly events of last Friday in Zahedan. Iran’s government has repeatedly tried to suppress ethno-nationalist movements in Iran – which are also tied to the minority Sunni community. Abdol Hamid said of the protests that: "People were attributed to separatist groups” but that this was not true.
University students protest in the streets
IranWire previously reported that, despite violent suppression, widespread arrests, and internet blocks, female students continue to protest across Iran’s cities. In videos posted on social media, female students in the cities of Rasht, Parand, Islamshahr and Ghaleh Hassan Khan gathered in the streets, removed their hijabs, and chanted “Death to the Dictator", in protest against the entire system of the Islamic Republic.
The Council of Sharif University published a statement, calling on professors to gather in protest at the university on Saturday, October 8.
While the statement condemned the raid of security forces on the university and the violent arrest of many students, it stated that this protest was being organized against "outrage towards the university".
New US sanctions against seven senior officials of the Islamic Republic
The US Treasury Department has sanctioned seven senior officials of the Islamic Republic for their role in suppressing popular protests and blocking Iranians' access to the internet, as IranWire previously reported.
The sanctioned officials include Vahid Majid, head of Iran’s FATA cyber police; Hossein Rahimi, head of Tehran police; Hossein Sajadinia, operations' deputy of the security forces; Yadollah Javani, political deputy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); Hossein Nejat, IRGC commander; Ahmad Vahidi, the Minister of Interior; and Issa Zarepour, Minister of Information and Communications Technology.