Allegations that 16-year-old Sarina Esmailzadeh was beaten to death at a protest follow news of the similar death of 17-year-old Nika Shakarami
Sixteen-year-old Sarina Esmailzadeh was killed by security forces as protests regarding the death of Mahsa Amini entered their third week. According to Amnesty International, she was beaten with batons at a protest in Gohardasht after posting popular vlogs on YouTube.
A primary source, according to Amnesty International, has stated that Esmailzadeh’s family had been subjected to “intense harassment” in order to “coerce them into silence,” claims which were dismissed by Iranian authorities.
Today, news of Esmailzadeh’s death spread on social media, prompting Isna news agency to investigate. They reported that the chief justice of Alborz province said initial findings pointed to suicide after she jumped from a five-storey building. Esmailzadeh reportedly had a history of mental health problems.
Esmailzadeh’s YouTube videos, which have achieved popularity on social media networks, demonstrate her listening to music, dancing and discussing her dreams of travelling. In one widely shared video, Esmailzadeh is seen singing along to Hozier’s Take Me to Church while driving with her family. In others, she expresses herself about women’s rights, including her rejection of the mandatory hijab, and frustration about the economic situation in Iran.
In private messaging groups, students in Iran said they were going to protest over the weekend in support of Esmailzadeh and Nika Shakarami, a 17-year-old high school student who had vanished on September 20 and was believed to have been tortured and murdered by Iran’s security agents.
Despite claims that Shakarami was beaten and raped, it was said that her body was stolen and buried without consent, officials say Shakarami killed herself by leaping from the roof of a building.
Shakarami’s mother this week accused the Iranian authorities of murdering her daughter. She also claimed they tried to force her to release a statement saying Shakarami had taken her own life.
On Friday, according to the Irna news agency, a coroner’s report was released that contained the findings of Mahsa Amini’s death. She was 22 years old and passed away after being detained by Iran’s morality police. Widespread protests occurred due to her death. The conclusion of the report stated she did not die from blows to head or limbs, but form multiple organ failure caused by cerebral hypoxia after falling while in custody because of “underlying diseases”