Mahsa Amini's father arrested by Iranian police on her death anniversary

Web Desk
Amjad Amini, Mahsa Aminis father stands next to her grave in Saqez. — X/@LightofRev
Amjad Amini, Mahsa Amini's father stands next to her grave in Saqez. — X/@LightofRev

Mahsa Amini's father was briefly detained on Saturday, according to human rights organisations, in the midst of a heavy security force presence on the first anniversary of his daughter's passing while in Iranian police custody.

Before being freed, Amjad Amini received a warning not to commemorate the passing of his daughter, according to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network.

Amjad Amini was neither imprisoned nor issued a warning, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA, which also disputed that he had been arrested.

Earlier, social media and reports by rights groups spoke of security forces taking up positions around Amini's home in Saqez, in western Iran, Reuters reported.

The death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman in custody for allegedly violating the country's dress code led to months of protests, marking the largest show of opposition to authorities in years.

Amini's parents, despite government warnings, announced a "traditional and religious anniversary ceremony" at her grave in Saqez.

Human rights groups reported widespread strikes in multiple cities in Iran's Kurdistan region, indicating a significant security force presence was deployed in anticipation of unrest.

However, according to IRNA, Amini's hometown of Saqez was "completely quiet" and calls for strike in Kurdish areas had failed due to "people's vigilance and the presence of security and military forces".

It quoted an official in the Kurdistan province as saying: "A number of agents affiliated with counter-revolutionary groups who had planned to create chaos and prepare media fodder were arrested in the early hours of this morning."

In the protests that followed Amini's death more than 500 people, including 71 minors, were killed, hundreds injured and thousands arrested, rights groups said. Iran carried out seven executions linked to the unrest, according to Reuters.

In a report last month, Amnesty International said Iranian authorities "have been subjecting victims' families to arbitrary arrest and detention, imposing cruel restrictions on peaceful gatherings at grave sites, and destroying victims' gravestones".

Iranian and Western human rights groups have reported that numerous journalists, lawyers, activists, students, academics, artists, public figures, and ethnic minorities accused of links to the protest wave, as well as relatives of protesters killed in the unrest, have been arrested, summoned, threatened, or fired.

Iran's Etemad Daily reported in August that the lawyer for Amini's family also faced charges of "propaganda against the system". If convicted, Saleh Nikbakht faces a jail sentence of between one and three years.