'She fell from a roof' becomes new excuse for Iran's crackdown as teen protester Sarina Ismailzadeh 'killed'

'She fell from a roof' becomes new excuse for Iran's crackdown as teen protester Sarina Ismailzadeh 'killed'
In an all too familiar explanation, a provincial chief justice claimed 16-year-old protester Sarina Ismailzadeh died after she fell from the roof of her grandmother's home.
2 min read
07 October, 2022
The death of Mahsa Amini sparked protests worldwide [Pau Barrena/AFP via Getty]

Iranian authorities have claimed a teenage girl reportedly killed during the ongoing wave of protests in the country took her own life.

Social media reports and Amnesty International said Sarina Ismailzadeh was killed by security forces when she was struck on the head during protests over the alleged killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by Iran's so-called morality police.

Iran has repeatedly denied that its brutal security forces have killed young protesters, and instead made a long list of excuses for their deaths at protests or in custody.

Hossein Fazli Harikandi, chief justice for Alborz province, claimed 16-year-old Ismailzadeh died after falling from the roof of her grandmother's five-storey home and that she had tried to take her own life before.

In a report from state-linked news agency Tasnim, Ismailzadeh's mother said the teenager had previously attempted suicide multiple times.

The regime and its affiliated media are notorious for coercing interviewees to give answers backing official versions of events.

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The family of Nika Shakarami - another Iranian girl reportedly killed during the protests - were coerced into saying in confession videos that her death had nothing to do with security forces, a source close to the family told BBC Persian on Thursday.

Authorities claimed Shakarami had also taken her own life by jumping from the roof of a building.

Women and girls have been at the forefront of the current wave of protests in Iran, sparked by Amini's death.

The protests have been met with a fierce crackdown by security forces with women in particular the victim of police and militia violence as young people demand an end to restrictive social and political laws.

At least 133 people have died since the protests began, according to the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights.

Ismailzadeh purportedly had a YouTube account on which she posted videos of herself lipsyncing and dancing. 

Videos of Shakarami performing songs have been widely shared since her death to celebrate her short life.