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Iran: Fresh protests erupt after death of Kurdish student

November 6, 2022

Demonstrators in the northwestern city of Marivan are angered by the reported killing of 35-year-old Nasrin Ghaderi. Iranian lawmakers, meanwhile, urged severe punishment for "rioters."

Civil unrest in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj
Iran's Kurdistan province has been a major hub for anti-government protests in recent weeksImage: NNSRoj

Fresh demonstrations occurred in the northwestern Iranian city of Marivan on Sunday, following the death of Kurdish student Nasrin Ghaderi. 

The latest flare of protests comes as anti-government demonstrations in Iran continued for a seventh week in one of the biggest shows of dissent in years.

What do we know so far?

Nasrin Ghaderi died on Saturday after falling into a coma. She was reportedly attacked by security forces in an anti-government demonstration in Tehran and suffered severe blows to her head.

Regime-critical news outlet Iran International reported that 35-year-old Ghaderi was studying for a doctorate in philosophy in the capital. 

She originally came from Marivan, which lies in Iran's Kurdistan province. 

Omid Memarian, the director of communications at the Washington DC nonprofit Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), posted a video on Twitter showing demonstrators gathered on the streets of Marivan. 

Norway-based Kurdish rights group Hengaw said police shot at protesters in the city, wounding dozens. Hengaw reported that Ghaderi was buried without a memorial service, as Iranian authorities believed the event would lead to unrest.  

Iranian state media, citing a prosecutor, claimed that Ghaderi had a pre-existing heart condition and that she died from "poisoning," without offering specifics.      

Demonstrations were also taking place in other parts of Iran on Sunday. The Norway-based Iran monitoring organization Iran Human Rights claimed that sit-ins in solidarity with detained coworkers were taking place at universities in Tehran.

State media outlet IRNA reported that four police officers had died in the restive southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Lawmakers urge courts to 'deal decisively' with jailed demonstrators

Iranian lawmakers, meanwhile, urged tough sentences for jailed protesters who took part in acts of civil disobedience, according to Iranian state media.

A total of 227 lawmakers in Iran's 290-seat parliament called for the "judiciary to deal decisively with the perpetrators of these crimes and with all of those who assisted in the crimes and provoked rioters."

The Iranian parliament is dominated by hardline conservative members. The lawmakers blamed the United States for the ongoing unrest in Iran. 

The protests were originally sparked by the death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini on September 16. She was taken into police custody for not properly following compulsory headscarf rules, with her parents saying she was killed from blows to the head by security forces.

The current demonstrations are arguably the most formidable challenge to the Islamic regime since it was installed in 1979. The US, Germany and other countries have pushed for new sanctions on Iran as the government cracks down on dissent. 

wd/rs (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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