Iranian authorities, who are increasingly under pressure from the protesters demanding justice for Mahsa Amini killed at the hands of morality police last month, face renewed pressure after a mother of an Iranian teenager accused them of murdering her daughter.
Nasrin Shahkarami, mother of 16-year-old Nika Shahkarami, said her daughter went missing on September 20, four days after Mahsa Amini’s death and the beginning of protests which have now entered its third week.
Nasrin said the police pressured her into saying that Nika’s death was due to suicide, caused by jumping from the roof of a building, news agency the Guardian reported citing Radio Farda, a US-funded media outlet.
Her family members said in her final phone call before her disappearance Nika said she was running away from security forces. Her family allege her dead body was stolen by the security forces who only returned it to her family after ten days on October 1.
Days away from her 17th birthday, her family was informed that their beloved daughter was dead. Her family wanted to bury her in the western city of Khorramabad but security forces without prior permission buried her in her father’s ancestral village.
Nika’s mother and aunt alleged that even though they did not see her full body, they caught a glimpse of her nose and head which were smashed. Her cause of death was also cited as ‘multiple blows caused by a hard object.’
Her aunt and uncle said they were arrested and were taken to the police station and then to a local news broadcast company where they said Nika was thrown from a building close to where she lived. There have been questions about the time the body was found and why her parents were not informed earlier in order to recognize the body.
“I saw my daughter’s body myself… The back of her head showed she had suffered a very severe blow as her skull had caved in. That’s how she was killed,” Nika’s mother was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) held the Iranian government responsible for Nika’s death. The director of the organisation Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said evidence points to the government’s role.