The Iranian security services had reportedly killed another schoolgirl after she was beaten in her classroom for refusing to sing a pro-regime song when her school was raided last week, sparking further protests across the country this weekend.
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According to the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations, 16-year-old Asra Panahi died after security forces raided the Shahid girl’s high school in Ardabil on 13 October and demanded a group of girls sing an anthem that praises Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
When they refused, security forces beat the pupils before taking them away in vans. Ms Panahi’s family say she was later found dead at her home.
The incident has provoked outrage among Iranians, with many protesting on the streets. On Saturday, demonstrators in Ardabil chanted “death to the dictator” and “down with the Revolutionary Guards”, according to videos posted on social media.
The demonstrations come amid a wider crackdown on dissent in Iran, which has seen a wave of arrests of environmentalists, human rights activists, journalists and others in recent months.
In addition, at least eight people have been killed in anti-government protests that have swept the country since last year.
According to Amnesty International, the Iranian authorities have used “excessive and lethal force” to quash the demonstrations, with security forces firing live ammunition into crowds of protesters.
The UN human rights office has also expressed concern at the “escalating crackdown” on dissent in Iran, saying that those peacefully expressing their views are being “systematically targeted” by the authorities.
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