Demonstrations: Protests in Iran - daughter of ex-president arrested

Iranian security forces have arrested the daughter of an ex-president for supporting the protests.

Demonstrations: Protests in Iran - daughter of ex-president arrested

Iranian security forces have arrested the daughter of an ex-president for supporting the protests. The 59-year-old Faeseh Hashemi - a well-known women's rights activist - was arrested in Tehran, according to the Tasnim news agency.

She tried to motivate women to take part in the protests. This is currently classified as a criminal offense in Iran. Hashemi is the daughter of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who died in 2017 and was influential at the time.

According to eyewitnesses, the protests in the country triggered by the death of a young woman continued on Wednesday night. According to media reports, there were clashes between demonstrators and security forces and arrests in various parts of Iran. The police said they would take action against "rioters" across the country.

UN Secretary General 'Increasingly Concerned'

According to a spokesman, UN Secretary-General António Guterres was "increasingly concerned" with reports of a rising death toll, "including women and children". The Secretary-General called on the security forces not to use unnecessary or disproportionate force. There is no precise information on the number of dead and arrested. The Iranian state broadcaster speaks of more than 40, other sources of more than 70 dead. Thousands are said to have been arrested across the country.

In view of the situation in Iran, the Federal Foreign Office has tightened its travel advice. "Police and security forces are increasingly violent against demonstrators, there are dead and injured," it said. Arbitrary arrests, including of uninvolved foreign nationals, would also occur in the context of demonstrations. Travel to Iran is strongly discouraged.

Raisi describes protests as a conspiracy

Green Party leader Omid Nouripour called on the European Union to introduce new sanctions against representatives of the Iranian leadership in view of the violence. Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, meanwhile, once again described the protests as a "conspiracy" against his country. "These are conspiracies by enemies against Iran's leadership because they feel threatened by the system's dominance, influence and progress," the president said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The trigger for the eleven-day protests in Iran is the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She was arrested by the Morality Police for violating the strict Islamic dress code and died on September 16 under unclear circumstances. The demonstrators speak of police violence, which the authorities firmly reject. Meanwhile, the internet remains restricted because of the nationwide protests, the government has confirmed.

Iran has had strict dress codes since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In the big cities in particular, many women now see the rules as rather relaxed and, for example, only wear their headscarves on the back of their heads - to the annoyance of ultra-conservative politicians.

Hashemi has been a critic of the system for years

The activist Hashemi who has now been arrested has been a critic of the Islamic system for years. The former member of parliament and women's sports official is also on a so-called black list of the system and has already been arrested several times.

As a women's activist, Hashemi was always against compulsory headscarves, although she wears one herself. She was also the editor of the daily newspaper "San" (Woman), which had to close in 1999 because of its feminist views. Her father was considered a moderate politician and a mentor to former President Hassan Rouhani.

Persian Ex-Empress calls on West for help

Meanwhile, the Paris-based ex-Persian Empress Farah Pahlavi called on the West to support the Iranians. "The West can help them by telling all the horrors that are happening in Iran under this regime," she told i24News in Paris. "I hope that this regime will be overthrown." The 83-year-old is the wife of the 1979 overthrown Persian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Green leader Nouripour called for personal sanctions in an interview with "Spiegel": "For example, those responsible for suppressing the protests could be personally prosecuted, regardless of their rank," he said. Nouripour, his co-leader Ricarda Lang and the CSU member of the Bundestag Dorothee Bär also demonstrated with more than 100 other people in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin against the oppression of women in Iran. There have been numerous solidarity protests in Germany in recent weeks. More demonstrations are planned.