By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — An Iranian coroner’s report says Mahsa Amini’s death was not caused by blows to the head or limbs but was instead linked to disease, disputing family objections that the 22-year-old was in good health when taken into custody for purportedly wearing a hijab improperly.
The state-controlled ISNA news agency said on October 7 that the Forensic Medicine Organization had determined “underlying diseases” were the cause of death while making no mention of whether she had suffered any injuries.
A report on state television added the forensic report showed Amini’s death was related to “surgery for a brain tumor at the age of 8.”
Amini was arrested on September 13 by Iran’s morality police and died three days later.
Eyewitness accounts said Amini had been beaten during her arrest while her father has said she suffered bruises to her legs, and has held the police responsible for her death, which has sparked a wave of protests across the country over the treatment of women and poor living conditions in the country in general.
Meanwhile, the mother of a 16-year-old who was killed during a demonstration in support of Amini has rejected official claims that her daughter fell from a building, saying she died from blows to the head.
Speaking to RFE/RL’s Radio Farda, Nasreem Shakrami said she had come under pressure from the authorities to follow the government’s narrative — that her child fell from the upper floor of a building — concerning her death.
Shakrami said the authorities kept her daughter Nika’s death a secret for nine days and then snatched the body from a morgue to bury her in a remote area, against the family’s wishes.
She said that a forensics report showed Nika’s body was intact, but that some of her teeth, some bones in her face, and in the back of her skull were broken, leading her to believe he daughter was beaten.
“The damage was to her head,” she said. “Her body was intact, arms and legs.”
At least 154 people, including nine children, have been killed during the 18 days of protest, according to a human rights group, with the government warning that the harsh crackdown by security forces against any dissent will continue.
However, the spontaneous protests have shown signs of broadening across the country and among different parts of society.