#IranProtests, September 2022. KL./

– Five people were killed in Iran‘s Kurdish region on Monday when security forces opened fire during protests over the death of a woman in police custody, a Kurdish rights group said, on a third day of turmoil over an incident that has ignited nationwide anger.

Mahsa Amini, 22, fell into a coma and died following her arrest in Tehran last week by morality police enforcing strict hijab rules, sparking demonstrations in numerous areas, including the Kurdish region from where she came, Tehran and other cities. Read full story

The Hengaw rights group said the two men were killed in the town of Divandarreh, part of the Kurdish region of Iran where protests have been the most intense.

There was no official confirmation of the deaths. State TV said a number of protesters had been arrested, but rejected “some claims of deaths on social media” by showing two injured youths who denied reports they had been killed. Their names were different than those in Hengaw’s report.

Reuters could not independently verify Hengaw’s report.

“In Monday’s protests in the town of Divandarreh, at least two citizens – Fouad Qadimi and Mohsen Mohammadi – died after being taken to Kosar Hospital in Sanandaj and 15 others were injured,” Hengaw said on Twitter. It did not say how they died.

A video posted on Twitter earlier by Hengaw showed protesters throwing rocks while a man could be heard saying, “There is a war in Divandarreh. The damned (police) agents are attacking”.

Iran’s President Raisi Calls for Enforcement of ‘Hijab and Chastity Law’

Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the video.

Amini’s death has been condemned nationwide, with the Persian hashtag #MahsaAmini reaching nearly 2 million Twitter mentions.

Iranian police said earlier on Monday her death was an “unfortunate incident,” and denied accusations of mistreatment.

Iran‘s morality police enforce strict rules imposed since Iran‘s 1979 Islamic revolution requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes in public.

In Washington, a White House spokesperson said there must be accountability for Amini’s death. Read full story

“Mahsa Amini’s death after injuries sustained while in police custody for wearing an ‘improper’ hijab is an appalling and egregious affront to human rights,” a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Toby Chopra, Ed Osmond and Leslie Adler)

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