The mother of a 16-year-old Iranian girl, Nika Shakarami, who died during protests that continue to sweep the country, has rejected official claims that her death was caused by falling from a building and insisted she was beaten to death by regime forces.
Nasreen Shakarami said authorities refused to notify the family about her daughter’s death for 10 days and then removed Nika from the morgue, burying her in a remote village without the family’s consent. Her mother says records of Nika’s death show her skull was severely damaged and her injuries were consistent with being struck repeatedly on her head.
The death of the young student has emerged as another icon of a protest movement that is now entering its fourth week and is seen as the biggest challenge to the Iranian regime’s authority in at least 13 years. Iran’s leaders have attempted to characterise the protests as a foreign plot, and a separatist push by a Kurdish minority. However, a groundswell of people from all walks of life continues to fuel a movement that is drawn from widespread social grievance.
The NFT of the week is portrait of Nika.
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