“I contacted Mahsa Amini’s family and assured them that we will continue to investigate the incident. Our main concern is the safeguarding of the rights of each citizen”, said the Iranian President.
Raisi wants a “firm” investigation and has accused Western nations of “double standards”, pointing to cases of police violence in the US and UK.
“Every day in many countries, including the United States, we see men and women dying at the hands of law enforcement authorities, but there is no sensitivity to the cause and treatment of this violence,” said Ebrahim Raisi. at a press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“Have all these deaths been investigated?” he asked.
Raisi further called for the “same standard” across the world to deal with deaths at the hands of authorities.
On the death of the young Kurd, Raisi stressed that “the authorities were doing what was necessary and that responsibility is now in the hands of the judiciary”.
On Thursday, the Iranian president withdrew from an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour in New York because she refused to wear the headscarf.
The protests in several cities in the country, where women burn their hijabs and cut their hair, are the most serious since 2019, when they erupted because of the rise in the price of gasoline by the government.
Raisi, who does not openly condemn the protests, added: “Of course, these demonstrations are normal and accepted. We have to differentiate between demonstrations and vandalism. Manifestations are good for expressing specific issues.”
The demonstrations appear to be broader demonstrations of defiance of the Islamic Republic government, which has tightened since the election of Raisi’s executive last year. After eight years of moderate Hassan Rouhani’s administration, Iran has elected an ultra-conservative whose views are in line with the thinking of the country’s powerful clergy and leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Social networks blocked and more than 30 dead in protests The Iranian authorities on Thursday blocked access to the social networks Instagram and Whatsapp, after six days of protests over the death of a young woman detained by the morality police, in which more than 30 people have died.
The death toll will, however, be much higher, according to the Oslo-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Iran Human Rights (IHR), which reports at least 31 people killed by security forces.
In parallel, The powerful Revolutionary Guard of Iran defined the protests by Masha Amini as “sedition” and asked the judiciary to prosecute “those who spread rumors and lies” on social networks and in the streets.
The military body referred to the recent acts of “sedition” that were “organized by the enemy”, in a harsh statement where it also sends condolences to the family of the deceased.
The death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Masha Amini set off a wave of condemnations around the world, with several NGOs denouncing the “brutal” repression of protests by the country’s authorities.
The protests have become an open challenge to the government, with some Iranians calling for the fall of the Islamic Republic.
Masha Amini, a Kurdistan native, was arrested by the morality police on September 13 in Tehran for “wearing inappropriate clothing”, and died three days later in hospital.
The protests began after Masha Amini’s funeral, when several women were filmed shaking their hijabs and chanting “death to the dictator” – a chant often addressed to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Several activist groups say the young woman was the victim of a fatal blow to the head, but Iranian authorities deny the allegations and have announced the opening of an investigation.
Demonstrations took place across the country after his funeral on Saturday and have now reached at least 80 Iranian cities and towns.
On Thursday, protesters set fire to police stations and vehicles.
Amini’s death has fueled a wave of anger over restrictions on personal freedoms. According to CNN, surveys and reports in recent years show that a large number of Iranians do not want the Islamic veil mandatory.
C / Agencies