Iran protests spread to 31 provinces

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Protests have spread to almost all of Iran’s 31 provinces and urban cities since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the police. On Sept. 13, Amini was arrested by a morality police (Gasht-e-Ershad) patrol in a Tehran metro station, allegedly for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

She was hospitalized after the arrest, fell into a coma and died three days later. Iranian authorities maintain that she died of a heart attack. Her family says that she had no pre-existing heart conditions.

Her death has sparked outrage in a country seething with anger over a long list of grievances and a wide range of socio-economic concerns.

State media reported Monday that authorities in a northern Iran province have arrested 450 people during more than 10 days of protests.

“During the troubles of the past days, 450 rioters have been arrested in Mazandaran,” the northern province’s chief prosecutor, Mohammad Karimi, was quoted as saying by official news agency IRNA.

Meanwhile, a leading Iranian cleric has urged authorities “to listen to the people”, as protests ignited by a young woman’s death in morality police custody show no sign of letting up.

“The leaders must listen to the demands of the people, resolve their problems and show sensitivity to their rights.—AFP

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