Middle East

Mahsa Amini’s uncle arrested ahead of one-year anniversary of her death

By Teele Rebane, CNN

CNN  —  The uncle of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman whose death in the custody of Iran’s morality police sparked nation-wide protests last year, was arrested last week, according to a family member and a human rights group.

Safa Aeli, a resident of the Kurdish city of Saqqez, was arrested on Tuesday at his home by 10 intelligence agents, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). A family member told CNN on condition of anonymity that Aeli has since been taken to Tehran, without providing further details out of concern for his safety.

The reasons behind his arrest are unknown, but his detention comes just days before the one-year anniversary of Amini’s death.

Amini died last September after being detained by the regime’s notorious morality police and taken to a “re-education center,” allegedly for not abiding by the country’s conservative dress code. Her death triggered a social movement, with demonstrators protesting the regime’s treatment of women as well as other issues.

The protests dwindled, but the regime has ramped up its arrests of activists and their relatives ahead of the anniversary of Amini’s death September 16.

The regime has also brought back its morality police after witnesses said the force had briefly disappeared from the streets during the protests. Iran also doubled down on hijab laws, with parliament now considering draft legislation dictating harsher measures against those violating the country’s dress code.


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