Tehran, Oct 9 (EFE).- Iran’s state-run TV channel was hacked by protesters to broadcast an anti-government message during a nightly news program as demonstrations across the Islamic republic gain strength, ignited by Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody last month.
The news bulletin was interrupted Saturday evening and a picture of Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei surrounded by fire and a rifle scope reticle on him was shown, along with a message reading “the blood of our young people is on your hands.” Chants of “woman, freedom, life,” were also heard.
Hacker group Edalat-e Ali claimed responsibility for the disruption.
Khamenei has been targeted in the protesters’ chants since the start of the rallies that swept Iran over the death of Amini in the custody of the morality police for allegedly failing to wear hijab correctly.
“Death to the dictator” and “death to the Islamic Republic” were among the slogans shouted in several protests.
In mid-September, the 83-year-old leader made an appearance following reports of his health issues.
Despite his several public appearances, Khamenei only mentioned Amini’s death for the first time on October 3, more than two weeks into the protests.
He called the young woman’s death “heartbreaking” but blamed the United States and Israel for the protests.
Amini died at the age of 22 on September 16, days after she was arrested by the so-called morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code.
Headscarves and modest dresses have been obligatory for women in Iran since 1983, shortly after the Islamic Revolution.
Iranian authorities said an autopsy showed Amini had died of an underlying illness and not as a result of police violence.
According to Iranian state media, 41 people have died in the unrest so far, although NGOs believe the real figure to be much higher. EFE