Oct. 7 (UPI) — The mother of an Iranian teenage girl who died during the nationwide protests charges that she was murdered by authorities, according to media reports.
In a video interview with Radio Farda interpreted by BBC News and The Guardian, Nasrin Shakarami said her daughter Nika Shakarami, 16, died from injuries that conflict with a report issued by Iranian authorities.
Officials said Nika Shakarami died from injuries consistent with being thrown from a building, possibly by workmen. Nasrin Shakarami said her daughter’s nose had been smashed and her head injured. The official death certificate said she died from “multiple blows caused by a hard object.”
The mother said the family last heard from the teenager on Sept. 20 when she informed them she was running from security forces while attending a protest. Nasrin Shakarami accused Iranian authorities of stealing her body, only returning it to the family on Oct. 1.
The teenager had participated in a demonstration protesting the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, an Iranian Kurd who died in the custody of Iran’s morality police.
Iranian authorities said Amini, who was arrested for not wearing her hijab correctly, died from health conditions, something her family said did not exist. Her death sparked protests around the country against the morality police and violence against women.
Human rights groups have said more than 150 people have been killed and thousands arrested as a result of the protests. Iranian officials have blamed the United States and other countries for stoking the demonstrations.
Amnesty International said on Thursday a violent crackdown on protesters on Sept. 30 during Friday prayer in the Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan provinces killed at least 66 people including children.
“The Iranian authorities have repeatedly shown utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and will stop at nothing to preserve power,” said Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general in a statement.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday issued sanctions against seven senior leaders within Iran’s government and security apparatus for the shutdown of Iran’s Internet access and the continued violence against peaceful protesters.
“The United States condemns the Iranian government’s Internet shutdown and continued violent suppression of peaceful protest and will not hesitate to target those who direct and support such actions,” Brian Nelson, the undersecretary of the Treasury, said in a statement.