Tehran, Oct 3 (EFE).- Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday said he is “deeply saddened” by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, but called rallies held across the country “not normal.”
“The incident deeply saddened us, but the reaction to this incident without investigation — coming to streets, removing other women’s hijab, setting fire to mosques, hussainiyas, people’s cars — was not normal,” Khamenei said at a graduation ceremony at Imam Hassan Officer Training University
Earlier on the day, a prominent university in Tehran suspended in-person learning and switched to online classes after heavy clashes between students and security forces overnight.
“All classes at the Sharif University of Technology will be held virtually from Monday until further notice,” the university said in a statement on its website.
The measure was taken after security forces cracked down on students protesting the death of the 22-year-old woman, following her arrest for allegedly not wearing her veil correctly.
“Gunshots have been heard around the campus. The situation is not safe,” the newspaper of Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology said on Sunday.
According to the newspaper, security forces showed up in vans at the university hours after demonstrations broke out in the early afternoon on Sunday.
Protests lasted until after midnight.
Mohammad Ali Zolfigol, the Iranian minister of science, research and technology, visited the campus in order to speak with students and security forces.
Iran’s main universities switched back to face-to-face classes on Saturday after they were suspended a week ago during the unrest.
But protests erupted at several universities, including Sharif, between Saturday and Sunday.
Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police on September 13 for violating the country’s strict dress rules.
Authorities say she had a stroke while in police custody and was admitted to Tehran’s Kasra Hospital hours after her arrest where she fell into a coma.
The young woman died on September 16. Iranian police issued a statement confirming her arrest and denying any responsibility in Amini’s death.
Since then, thousands of young Iranians have taken to the streets to protest against the mandatory hijab law, and demand more freedoms.
They chanted “Woman, life and freedom,” as well as anti-regime slogans such as “Death to the dictator.”
Police have suppressed rallies using batons, tear gas, water cannons, and live ammunition, according to the United Nations.
Over a week ago, Iranian state television said that 41 people have died amid the protests, but the Oslo-based Human Rights in Iran NGO placed the number of those killed at 92.EFE