Iran president says death in custody of Mahsa Amini must be investigated

Police crime scene

source: The Guardian
published: 23 Sept 2022

The death in custody in Iran of a Kurdish woman that led to widespread protests must be “steadfastly” investigated, Iran’s president has said, as he lamented what he claimed were western “double standards” on human rights.

Ebrahim Raisi told a news conference on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York that the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police “must certainly be investigated”.

“I contacted her family at the very first opportunity and I assured them we would continue steadfastly to investigate that incident … Our utmost preoccupation is the safeguarding of the rights of every citizen.”

Of Amini’s death, he said authorities were doing what they needed to do and that responsibility now lay in the hands of the judiciary. He claimed the initial coroner’s investigations into the death showed she died from heart failure or a brain stroke, and not a physical beating by the morality police.

But he said: “If her death was due to negligence, it will definitely be investigated, and I promise to follow up on the issue regardless of whether the international forums take a stand or not.”

Protesters reject the state’s conclusions, pointing to reports that officers beat Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles.

At least 36 people are feared by rights groups to have died in six days of protests, sparked by the death on 16 September of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman.

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