Nika Shahkarami Death: New Video Renders Iran’s Official Claim of Teenager’s Death Dubious

An investigative report by BBC Persian revealed this week that slain teenager Nika Shahkarami was protesting against the Iranian government before she disappeared.

The Iranian government authorities claimed that Nika Shahkarami was not part of the protests and claimed her death was due to suicide. Videos on social media show the young female student chanting ‘Death to Dictator’ while burning her headscarf in Tehran on September 20.

She was protesting against the excesses committed by the Iranian morality police whose heavy handedness led to the death of Mahsa Amini throwing Iran into a turmoil over headscarves and women’s rights. Amini’s death has led to protests in all cities including capital Tehran and Shahkarami was part of one of these protests.

The Iranian authorities also took a forced confession from Nika’s aunt Atash Shahkarami and uncle Mohsen Shahkarami, Nika’s mother Nasrin Shahkarami claimed. She told BBC Persian that the Iranian government authorities threatened to detain their four-year-old child if they did not ‘cooperate with the authorities.’

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The newly released videos on Twitter by BBC journalist Parham Ghobadi show two different angles of Nika protesting against the Iranian government while demanding justice for Mahsa Amini.

News18 could not independently verify the authenticity of these videos.

In one video, a girl can be seen dressed in black standing on a dumpster on a street and waving a burning headscarf, family members told BBC Persian. In another video, the same scene can be seen from a different angle.

Nasrin and Nika’s father retrieved their daughter’s body from the mortuary 10 days after her disappearance. Her mother, according to a report by the Guardian said, she spotted injuries to the back of Nika’s head which implies hurt caused by a blunt instrument.

The BBC Persian report also says that Atash, Nika’s aunt, was told by Revolutionary Guards that Nika was in their custody for five days.

The Iranian government also released footage of a girl but Nika’s family claims this is not their daughter and there is a difference in the way Nika walked and in the manner people in the Iranian government-released video were walking.

Iran has led a crackdown on protesters calling these actions work of a foreign government. Nika is not the first female teenager to have allegedly been killed by Iranian authorities. Another 16-year-old, Sarina Esmailzadeh, also died at the hands of the Iranian police, her family claimed.

The Iranian Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child said 28 children died in the protests.

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