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Iranian security forces arrested the journalist who first reported Mahsa Amini’s death over the weekend as protests in the country continue for nearly two weeks.
“This regime has failed to quell the protests, which have now spread to every province in the country,” Saeed Ghasseminejad, senior adviser to Iran and financial economics at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital. “The protests that began in Tehran in front of the hospital where the soul of Mahsa Zhina Amini left her body after being beaten by the guide patrol, also known as the morality police, spread to Kurdistan, where she came from, and from there to all the corners of the country.”
“The protest that began over the murder of Mahsa by the Morality Police, whose job it is to impose sharia laws on Iranians, especially Iranian women, quickly moved beyond the hijab issue and brought people together. in a fight to overthrow the Islamist regime in Iran. Ghasseminejad, who was born and raised in Iran, added.
News of journalist Niloofar Hamedi’s arrest began to spread on social media on Wednesday night local time as her friends and family tried to raise awareness. Mohammad Ali Kamfirouzi, Hamedi’s lawyer, said he was keeping up to date on her client’s detention conditions and that he was working to free her, the Foreign Desk reported.
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Kamfirouzi said authorities had also suspended his client’s Twitter account.
The protests began at the funeral of Amini, 22, after he died while in the custody of the morality police, who claim he simply fell into a coma after his arrest. Instead, her family and some witnesses said they saw evidence that police had beaten her.
Protesters have demanded an end to the strict sharia laws enforced by the morality police, as well as other violations of women’s rights in the country.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has warned protesters that his regime will act “decisively” to end the violence as people in the streets demand his removal or, in some cases, his death.
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“The brave people of Iran are currently in the streets across the country protesting the brutal murder of an innocent 22-year-old girl simply for showing a bit of her hair,” The Foreign Desk’s editor-in-chief told Fox News. Lisa Daftary. Digital. “Although it has been called a feminist movement or a women’s rights movement, it has become a movement for total freedom.”
Some reports have claimed that the protests have spread to 156 cities, with 240 people killed and more than 12,000 arrested, although Fox News Digital was unable to verify those numbers. Other sources have said that at least 76 people have been killed and more than 1,200 have been arrested.
The United States responded to Iran’s actions by sanctioning the morality police and seven other Iranian security officials “responsible for suppressing nonviolent protests” in the country, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on September 22. He directly blamed the morality police for Amini’s death.
But Daftari has insisted the US can do more and has urged leaders to send a clear and unified message in support of the protesters.
“Every time the brave people of Iran take to the streets, there may be a different catalyst that gets them there, but the slogans you hear and the core message of their movement is always the same,” he said. “They are calling for the end of this regime and the removal of the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”
“The people of Iran are telling the world that this is not an isolated case, and this is not just a one-time, but systemic brutality that they have endured for 43 years under this regime.”
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Both Daftari and Ghasseminejad also called on President Biden to end negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal that would return money to the regime in exchange for promises to delay the development of nuclear weapons technology, money that could be used to fund more power groups. like the Houthis and creating further chaos in the Middle East.
“The Biden administration should stop negotiations with the regime. It is wrong to give hundreds of billions of dollars to a radical Islamist regime that sings the death of America, murders its people, creates chaos in the region, supports terrorism around the world, has active plots to assassinate American citizens, including high-ranking American officials, and wants to annihilate our ally,” Ghasseminejad said.
“The United States can sanction those who are dedicated to murdering the Iranian people and must not grant visas to regime officials and their relatives who we know are living [a] luxurious double life in America,” he added.
Maryam Rajavi, the current leader of MEK, applauded the people of Iran for their “courageous” protests against the regime headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, saying that the people, especially women, “will sweep away Khamenei’s dark rule.”
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“The people of Iran bring the UDHR to life by resisting a regime that tramples on fundamental human rights,” Rajavi posted on Twitter after the first week of protests. “I urge the international community to condemn the clerical regime and support the protesters.”
Anders Hagstrom of Fox News contributed to this report.