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Women

Exclusive: Mahsa Amini's Family Facing Pressure to Give Scripted TV Interview

September 19, 2022
Hawari Yousefi
2 min read
Mahsa Amini's funeral was overseen by uniformed officers and the family home is now under surveillance
Mahsa Amini's funeral was overseen by uniformed officers and the family home is now under surveillance
IranWire understands the family have been asked to call off protests over her death, and to state on TV that she had underlying health conditions
IranWire understands the family have been asked to call off protests over her death, and to state on TV that she had underlying health conditions

IranWire understands that the family of Mahsa Amini is being pressured to call on people not to attend demonstrations, and to give an interview with state TV absolving police of blame for her death.

The 22-year-old from Saqqez died in a Tehran hospital and was buried on Friday. On Tuesday night she had been arrested by the city’s so-called “morality patrol” while on holiday with her family, and was rushed to hospital two hours later in a coma.

A relative told IranWire on Monday that officers from the Ministry of Information had attended the family home and told them, without offering condolences, that other wellwishers from Saqqez had no right to be there.

They asked the grieving family to issue a public call, via the city’s Friday Imam, asking people to “calm down” and in so doing, restore “peace” to cities across Kurdistan.

Thousands have attended protests across western Iran and Tehran since last Friday, while close to 50 percent of shops in some cities closed their doors on Monday as a mark of respect. The latter came despite security forces threatening heavy fines to businesses that did not open as normal.

There have been numerous reports of arrests in various cities, and some known women’s rights activists have received threatening phone calls warning them not to speak out.

Also on Monday, the source told IranWire, the family had been contacted by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting asking them to give an interview claiming their dead daughter had “underlying illnesses” and had undergone surgery in the past.

Last week Mahsa’s father and uncle both insisted she had been in perfect health at the time of her arrest. Close to 10 doctors have now publicly stated the pictures published of Mahsa in hospital indicate she had suffered a blow to the head.

Hospital scans published by Iran International on Monday also purported to show fractures to Mahsa’s skull, in contrast with the official claim that she had had a heart attack.

Uniformed officers from the security forces blocked access to Kasra Hospital, where Mahsa died, last week, and stood watch over commemoration ceremonies for her at Chahar Yar Nabi Mosque in Sarvabad, Kurdistan.

Riot police, a local source told IranWire, took over a girls’ school opposite the mosque to use as a base during the funeral.

On Monday officers were also stationed outside her father’s house. Relatives and friends were blocked outright from entering for several hours.

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