Wed Sep 28th, 2022 at 10:53:02 PM EST
Death Iranian Kurd Jhina and Call for Regime Change
Amini died after `blow to the head' in Iranian police custody, says cousin | L'Orient |
"Jhina's death has opened the doors of popular anger," said Erfan Salih Mortezaee, 34, using Amini's Kurdish first name and referring to the ongoing wave of protests that her death has sparked.
SULAIMANIYAH -- Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini was visiting Tehran with her family when she encountered the notorious morality police and died after a "violent blow to the head," according to her cousin who lives in Iraq.
"Jhina's death has opened the doors of popular anger," said Erfan Salih Mortezaee, 34, using Amini's Kurdish first name and referring to the ongoing wave of protests sparked by her death.
Amini's mother called Mortezaee to tell him what happened to her 22-year-old daughter in police custody, he said.
AFP spoke with Mortezaee in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region -- bordering Amini's native Kurdistan province in Iran -- where he has been living for a year.
There he joined Iranian Kurdish nationalist group Komala, which has conducted a long-running cross-border insurgency against the Tehran authorities, seeking autonomy for Kurdish-populated areas of northwestern Iran.
"What is happening in Kurdistan and everywhere else in Iran is popular anger against the Islamic Republic's regime, against the dictatorship," Mortezaee said.
At least 76 people have been killed in the demonstrations, according to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR), while Iran's semi-official Fars news agency has placed the death toll "around 60."
The country has seen protests in recent years, including deadly demonstrations in November 2019 over rising fuel price.
But this time "women are taking the lead and are actively taking part in the protests," Mortezaee said. "Women are participating in the demonstrations courageously and are taking to the streets, day and night," he said.
"We, the youth, know that if this regime falls, a better life awaits us."
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