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Politics

Day 44: Schoolgirl Killed by Security Forces as Protests Continue

October 31, 2022
Roghayeh Rezaei
4 min read
Nationwide protests continued across Iran for the 44th consecutive night on Sunday, as another child was killed in Iranshahr after being beaten by security forces
Nationwide protests continued across Iran for the 44th consecutive night on Sunday, as another child was killed in Iranshahr after being beaten by security forces

Nationwide protests continued across Iran for the 44th consecutive night on Sunday, as another child was killed in Iranshahr after being beaten by security forces.

Halwash news agency and the Baloch Activists' Campaign which monitors human rights violations in Balochistan identified the child as Parmis Hamnava, an 8th-grade schoolgirl.

Meanwhile, students have continued to gather in dozens of universities across the country. Eyewitness reports from North Tehran Azad University indicate that students were severely beaten by Basij forces with batons and tear gas. There have been reports of several students at the university receiving injuries and dozens arrested.Tomaj Salehi, a rapper and opposition activist of the Islamic Republic, who has vocally supported the protesters in the past few weeks, was arrested on Sunday in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province.

The ongoing demonstrations have triggered a heavy-handed crackdown by security forces, with at least 253 people killed, including 34 children, according to one human rights organization. Several thousand people have been arrested.

What happened on the 44th day of protests?

Iranian security forces have continued to violently suppress anti-government protests at universities and other educational institutions across the country for the sixth consecutive week.

At Tehran's Azad University, videos posted on social media show paramilitary Basij members and plainclothes officers violently attacking student protesters with batons and teargas guns on Sunday.

A video sent to IranWire shows special unit agents attacking students who were locked up at the Sanandaj Technical College.

The Student Union Councils reported that protesters were trapped in the Technical Faculty of Tehran University and warned that security forces could storm the facility at any moment. Several students had already been arrested and dragged into a van.

Tensions were high at the Tehran University of Science and Technology, where security officers tried to spray water on students who were refusing to observe gender segregation rules. One photo shows a group of students preventing a security guard from hitting a female student.

Similar protests were reported elsewhere in Tehran, as well as Shiraz, Qazvin, Hamadan, Mashhad and other cities across the country.

Videos shared on social media show students gathered at Tehran University’s Department of Horticulture chanting slogans including: "This is not the time for mourning, this is the time for anger" and "We don't want a baby-killing government."

Students at the Shiraz Pharmaceutical Faculty called for justice after security forces shot and killed protesters in the city of Zahedan.

"Death to the shooter in Zahedan and Shiraz," they chanted in reference to the deadly gun attack on a Shia shrine in Shiraz on October 26.

Young men and women, including university students, have been at the forefront of the protest movement sparked by the death last month of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police. The largely peaceful demonstrations have grown to become the biggest challenge to Iran’s regime since the 2009 protest movement.

"We’re telling young people and those who have been deceived that today is the last day they riot," General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned on October 29, in a sign that security forces could intensify their brutal suppression of the protests.

Rapper Arrested

Iranian authorities have arrested Toomaj Salehi, a rapper who is popular among Iranians angry at the country’s establishment.

The semi-official ISNA news agency claimed on its Telegram channel that Salehi was arrested while trying to cross a western border on Sunday.

However, an informed source said the rapper "never intended to leave the country and was arrested in [the south-western] Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, where he is originally from."

Salehi's Twitter account was deactivated hours after news of his arrest was made public.

The rapper has been targeted in the past for his lyrics condemning state repression and injustice in Iran.

He was detained at his home in the central city of Isfahan in September 2021 after being accused of “propaganda against the regime” and "insulting the leadership."

The rapper was later released on bail amid widespread condemnation of his arrest by his supporters and human rights groups.

Journalist’s Body Secretly Buried 

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has reportedly informed the family of well-known journalist Reza Haghighatnejad that his body was secretly buried in southern Iran.

Haghighatnejad’s sister posted on her Instagram account a photo of the purported burial site outside the city of Shiraz.

"One person... can just one person come and tell me when in history such cruelty has been inflicted on someone’s sister,” she wrote.

According to RFE/RL, where Haghighatnejad worked from 2019 until his death, the photo was sent to the family by the IRGC. They were not allowed to see the body or attend the burial.

Haghighatnejad died in Berlin on October 17 at the age of 45. His body was repatriated to Iran for burial on October 25, but was not turned over to his parents.

The journalist's mother posted a video on October 27 in which she said her son's body had "been abducted by the authorities at the airport."

Haghighatnejad left Iran amid increased pressure on journalists and worked with Persian-language media outside the country.

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