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Iranians staged renewed anti-government protests this week following the recent death of 16-year-old Armita Geravand, which occurred following a confrontation with Iran’s morality police, Radio Free Europe reported.
Demonstrations occurred in a number of cities, including the capital Tehran, with protesters carrying placards with anti-government slogans and scrawling graffiti in memory of Geravand. Some demonstrators called for the death of the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
There were reports of arrests and violent clashes with security forces, including scuffles during Geravand’s funeral on Oct. 29.
Geravand died over the weekend, days after authorities said she was brain-dead after weeks in a coma.
Last month, the teenager and her two friends were stopped on a Tehran subway car by officers enforcing the country’s strict Islamic headscarf law.
Video footage showed the three girls entering the subway car without the mandatory hijabs, but then showed Geravand’s unconscious body being pulled by her two friends back onto the platform.
Iranian officials claimed Geravand fell into a coma after she fainted and hit her head. But they did not allow family or friends to visit her in the hospital. Allegations emerged that authorities also pressured the people around Geravand to avoid talking about the situation or commemorating her death.
But critics and people familiar with the incident countered that an officer pushed the teenager, who hit her head on a metal object as she fell, during an argument in the subway car.
During the demonstrations, protesters refuted the government’s official narrative.
Geravand’s case came a few weeks after the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old woman died in the custody of the morality police after being detained for allegedly flouting the hijab rules.
Her death sparked months-long protests against Iran’s strict dress code and the ruling clerics, who in recent months have cracked down on flouting the country’s hijab laws for women. Even so, many women are continuing to defy the laws.