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Iranian Schoolgirl Allegedly Beaten to Death by Security Forces

    Iranian Schoolgirl Allegedly Beaten to Death by Security Forces
    Last updated: 1 month ago
    Image credit: The National Post

    Facts

    • A schoolgirl died last week after Iranian security forces allegedly beat her and several classmates for refusing to sing an anthem praising the country's supreme leader, a local teachers' association said. [1]
    • Asra Panahi was among several students from the Shahed girls' high school in Ardabil who were allegedly forced to attend a ceremony praising Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They reportedly refused to sing, chanting slogans against inequality and discrimination instead. [2]
    • According to the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations, security forces beat and arrested several students, some of whom were admitted to hospital due to their injuries. Panahi was among them and died in the hospital the following day, according to the statement. [3]
    • Politicians and state television have denied the account of Panahi's death. One man purporting to be the girl's uncle said she died of a heart condition — though similar interviews following the deaths of other protesters allegedly at the hands of security forces have been given in recent weeks. [4]
    • The alleged raid and death of Panahi sparked further protests in Iran — a country riven by five weeks of protest following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody on Sept. 16. Iran's morality police detained her for allegedly not wearing her hijab correctly. [1]
    • The Oct 13. incident is among a series of alleged raids on schools across the country by Iranian authorities in response to schoolgirls who have joined the protests following Amini's death. [3]
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    Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This is yet another death of a young girl at the hands of Iran's brutal security regime — a rotten system that has pushed the country's youth to its absolute limits. It has already fostered a volatile environment by failing to tackle the economic crisis, and repressing women through the criminalization of "immodest dressing" has only amplified discontent. Iranians cannot blindly comply with these orders any longer.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Iran's riots have nothing to do with the death of Amini — and now Panahi — but everything to do with the enemies of Iran exploiting the tragic event for the purpose of creating chaos in the country. This was simply the right excuse at the right time. However, Iranians can count on their government to remain firm in its opposition to meddling from Western hegemony and Israel's Zionist regime.

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