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Iranian schoolgirl pro-regime march 'beaten to death for refusing to sing' | Iranian

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Another female student, who was beaten in her class for refusing to sing a pro-regime song when her school was raided last week, was reportedly killed by Iranian security services, sparking new protests across the country this weekend.

Asra Panahi, 16, died after security forces raided Shahed girls’ high school in Ardabil on October 13 and demanded that a group of girls sing a march in praise of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah, according to the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations. . Ali Khamenei.

When they refused, the security forces beat the students, which led to several girls being taken to the hospital and others being arrested. On Friday, Panahi was reported to have died in hospital from injuries sustained at school.

Iranian authorities denied security forces were responsible, and after his death sparked nationwide outrage, a man identified as his uncle appeared on state television channels, claiming he died of a congenital heart ailment.

Schoolgirls emerged as a powerful force after videos of students waving hijabs in the air in classrooms, downloading photos of Iran’s leading leaders, and shouting anti-regime slogans in support of the deceased 22-year-old Mahsa Amini went viral. After being detained by the Iranian morality police in August for not wearing the hijab properly.

Iranian authorities have responded to a series of raids on schools across the country last week, with reports of officers being forced into classrooms, female students violently arrested and pushed into waiting cars, and tear gas grenades dropped on school buildings.

Iran’s teachers’ union on Sunday condemned the “brutal and inhumane” raids and demanded the resignation of education minister Yusuf Nouri.

An Iranian student allegedly smeared a map of Iran on a wall with handprints during a sit-in at the Isfahan University of Arts over the weekend. Photo: UGC/AFP/Getty Images

The news of Panahi’s death further mobilized female students across the country to organize and participate in weekend protests.

Among them was 16-year-old Naznin*, whose parents kept her at home for fear of being arrested for protesting her school.

“I was not allowed to go to school because my family was worried about my life. But what has changed? The regime continues to kill and arrest girls,” says Naznin.

“What good am I if I just sit at home in anger? Me and other students in Iran decided to protest in the streets this week. Even if I have to hide it from my family now, I will.”

Nergis*, 19, also joined the protests and was hit by rubber bullets on her back and legs. He says Panahi’s death motivated him and his friends to continue protesting despite the danger.

He says what happened to Panahi, as well as the killing of two other schoolgirls, 17-year-old Nika Shahkarami and 16-year-old Sarina Esmailzadeh, both by Iranian security forces, has brought youths together across Iran. common cause.

“I don’t have a single relative in Ardebil, but they woke up the whole nation with this brutal crackdown on our 16-year-old sisters,” she says.

“We never knew we were so united – both in the Baloch regions and the Kurdish regions. The world has heard of Nika, Sarina and Asra, but there are a lot of unnamed kids that we don’t know about.

“It’s not just Asra’s death,” he says. “The Islamic Republic has been slaughtering our people for 40 years, but our voices have not been heard. Let the world know now that this is not a protest – we are calling for a revolution. Now you are all listening to our voices, we will not stop.”

According to the latest report of Iran’s Human Rights group, as of October 17, 215 people died in nationwide protests, including 27 children.

*Names changed

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