Another schoolgirl was reportedly killed by Iranian security services after she was beaten in her classroom for refusing to sing a pro-regime song when her school was stormed last week, sparking further protests across the country this weekend.
according to Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Unions16-year-old Asra Panahi died after security forces raided al-Shahed Secondary School for Girls in Ardabil on October 13 and demanded that a group of girls sing Nasheed praises the Supreme Leader of IranAyatollah Ali Khamenei.
When they refused, the security forces beat the students, which led to the transfer of a number of girls to the hospital and the arrest of others. On Friday, Panahi reportedly died in hospital from injuries sustained at school.
Iranian officials have denied that Iranian security forces are to blame, and after her death sparked outrage across the country, a man identified as her uncle appeared on state TV channels claiming that she had died of a congenital heart disease.
Schoolgirls emerged as a mighty force After classroom videos went viral of students waving their headscarves in the air, taking down pictures of Iran’s supreme leaders and chanting anti-regime slogans. maha aminithe 22-year-old woman who died after being detained by Iran’s morality police for not wearing a headscarf properly in August.
Iranian authorities responded with a series of raids on schools across the country last week, with reports of officers storming their way to classrooms, violently arresting school girls and pushing them into waiting cars, and firing tear gas at school buildings.
In a statement published on Sunday, the Iranian Teachers’ Union denounced the “brutal and inhuman” raids and called for the resignation of Education Minister Yousef Nouri.
News of Panahi’s death prompted more schoolgirls across the country to mobilize and join the protests over the weekend.
Among them was 16-year-old Nazanin*, whom her parents kept at home for fear of being arrested for protesting at her school.
I was not allowed to go to school because my parents feared for my life. But what has changed? The regime continues to kill and arrest schoolgirls,” says Nazneen.
“What benefit will I get if I sit angry at home? My fellow students across Iran and I decided to stand up to protest in the streets this week. I will do it even if I now have to hide it from my father.”
19-year-old Nargis* also joined the protests, receiving rubber bullets in her back and legs. She says Panahi’s death prompted her and her friends to continue protesting, despite the danger.
She says what happened to Panahi – as well as the deaths of two other 17-year-old schoolgirls Nika Shahkrami and 16 years old Sarina Ismailzadehby Iranian security forces – He united young people all over Iran under a common cause.
“I don’t have a single relative in Ardabil, but with this brutal campaign against our sisters, who were not only sixteen years old, they woke up the whole nation,” she says.
“We never knew we were so united – across the Baluch areas as well as the Kurdish areas. The world has heard about Nika, Sarina, and Asra, but there are so many other unknown children that we don’t know anything about.
“It’s not just a family death,” she says. “The Islamic Republic has been killing our people for 40 years, but our voices have not been heard. Let the world know that this is no longer a protest – we are calling for a revolution. Now that you have all heard our voices, we will not stop.”
According to the latest report by Human rights in Iran 215 people, including 27 children, were killed in the nationwide protests until October 17.