According to reports from the Iranian state media, 35 people have now been killed during the protests in Iran following the death of a young woman. “The death toll in the recent unrest in the country has risen to 35,” reported the Borna news agency, which is linked to the Ministry of Sports, on Friday evening, citing state television. So far, the Iranian authorities had officially given the number of dead as 17. Activists assumed at least 50 deaths on Friday.

The nationwide protests were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on Friday last week. She had been arrested by the vice squad in the capital, Tehran, because she had apparently not worn the Islamic headscarf in accordance with strict regulations.

After her arrest, Amini collapsed under mysterious circumstances at the police station and was pronounced dead at the hospital three days later. Police say she had a heart attack. According to human rights activists, the young woman suffered a fatal blow to the head.

Interior Minister Ahmad Wahidi said on Friday evening that Amini had not been beaten. “Reports were received from regulators, witnesses were interviewed, videos reviewed and forensic reports obtained, and it was found that there had been no beatings,” the minister said, according to Iranian media. The investigation into the cause of death has not yet been completed, Wahidi added. “We’ll have to wait for the coroner’s final report.”

There have been nationwide protests in Iran for eight consecutive nights since Amini’s death. According to the human rights organization Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Oslo, at least 50 people were killed by Friday during the violent crackdown on the protests. On Friday, after a call from the authorities, thousands of counter-demonstrators took to the streets to demand the wearing of headscarves, including in Tehran, Ahwaz, Isfahan, Ghom and Tabriz.

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