By RFE/RL’s Radio Farda | –
( RFE/ RL ) – Relatives of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman whose death nearly a year ago sparked mass protests in Iran, have confirmed reports that one of her uncles has been arrested ahead of the anniversary of her death.
A brother of Amini’s, Ashkan Amini, told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that Safa Aeli was arrested in their hometown of Saghez, in the northwestern Kurdistan Province, on September 5.
It is not known what the reasons are for the arrest or what entity carried it out, although social media posts indicated that security forces in Saghez were involved.
RFE/RL was unable to determine Aeli’s whereabouts.
The arrest took place as the anniversary of Amini’s September 16, 2022, death approaches.
Amini was arrested in Tehran on September 13, 2022, while visiting the Iranian capital with her family. She was detained by Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly improperly wearing her hijab, or head scarf. Within hours of her detention, she was hospitalized in a coma and died on September 16.
Her family has denied that Amini suffered from a preexisting health condition that may have contributed to her death, as claimed by the Iranian authorities, and her father has cited eyewitnesses as saying she was beaten while en route to a detention facility.
Amini’s death sparked protests in Saghez that spread around the country and ultimately posed one of the biggest threats to Iran’s clerical establishment since the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979.
At least 500 people were killed around the country after the Iranian authorities clamped down on the demonstrations with brutal force.
Ahead of the anniversary of her death, the authorities have stepped up pressure against family members of those killed, including through arrests, summons for questioning, and warnings against them holding memorial events in honor of Amini or their loved ones.
Via RFE/ RL
Featured Image: “A combo photo shows Mahsa Amini (left) in the hospital on September 16, 2022, and her father and grandmother right after her death.”
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