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Hijab row leaves 76 dead in Iran— Activist

Iranian woman cutting her hair in protest. Photo: News Drum

The 11 days of unrest sparked by the death of a woman in custody over the use of hijab has led to the death of at least 76 protesters by security forces in Iran, activists say.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) a Norway-based organization has accused authorities of using disproportionate force and live ammunition to suppress dissents.

BBC reports that the state media have put the number of deaths at 41, including security personnel, and blamed “rioters”.

Hundreds of others have also been arrested, including 20 journalists.

“The risk of torture and ill-treatment of protesters is serious and the use of live ammunition against protesters is an international crime,” said IHR’s director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam. “The world must defend the Iranian people’s demands for their fundamental rights.”

The UN human rights office also said it was very concerned by the authorities’ violent response and urged them to respect the right to protest peacefully.

The anti-government protests have spread to more than 80 locations across Iran since the funeral of Mahsa Amini on September 17.

The 22-year-old Kurdish woman from the north-western city of Saqez had been visiting the capital, Tehran, on September 13 when she was arrested by morality police officers for allegedly violating the strict law requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf.

Writing by Muzha Kucha