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Iranian forces fire on protest over student’s death: activists

June 03, 2023

PARIS: Iranian security forces opened fire on a protest sparked by the death of a student recently released from custody, rights groups and monitors said on Friday, with several people reported wounded.The protests erupted late on Thursday in the town of Abdanan, in the Kurdish-populated western province of Ilam, prompted by the death late last month of Bamshad Soleimankhani, 21, just days after his release from prison.

The Norway-based Hengaw group published images reported to be of protesters showing wounds from birdshot pellets, along with footage showing people in the streets with gunshots audible. It was not immediately possible to verify the images. Twenty-five people were wounded in the protest as they chanted anti-regime slogans, Hengaw said. The France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network said 10 people had been wounded at the protest. Nationwide demonstrations erupted in September, sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, arrested for allegedly flouting the country´s strict dress code for women.

The protests shook Iran´s clerical leadership, and while they have abated in recent months they continue sporadically. Soleimankhani had been active in the Amini protests but it was not immediately clear when and why he had been arrested, the 1500tasvir protest monitor reported. The group said his family had noticed him foaming at the mouth and taken him to hospital after his release from custody, with doctors recording multiple fractures and cigarette burns to his body. In May, activists recorded several protests across Iran after authorities hanged three men in cases related to the Amini protests, taking to seven the number of executions connected to the movement.