Protest Death Toll Rises to 36 Over Mahsa Amini’s Death in Iran

September 23, 2022

By: Mariah Fritz

The Iranian protests have reached a death toll of 36 due to the uproar over the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, according to Alarabiya News.

Amini died last week while in custody, and she was arrested by the Islamic Republic’s police for allegedly wearing a hijab in an “improper” fashion. The news of Amini’s death stirred widespread outrage, and the official death toll rose to at least 17 by Thursday, including five security guards. However, the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) estimates a higher figure based on their inside sources. 

The CHRI made a statement on Twitter late Thursday, writing: “On the 7th day of #IranProtest, officials admit to at least 17 deaths w/ independent sources say 36, expect the number to rise. World leaders must press Iranian officials to allow protest without lethal force.”

Amini was arrested in Tehran by Iran’s morality police, and many of the protests are held in the capital, Isfahan, Mashhad, Rasht, Saqez, and major urban centers in Iran. “The government has responded with live ammunition, pellet guns, and tear gas, according to videos shared on social media that have also shown protesters bleeding profusely,” CHRI said in a statement.

Photos have been released of protesters burning images of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and late Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani. Security personnel has been firing birdshot and metal pellets at crowds in response, and Amnesty International and other human rights groups have reported security deploying tear gas and water cannons.

So far, protestors have hurled stones at police and security, set fire to police cars, and have been chanting anti-government slogans, the IRNA news agency reported.