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Reports: Iran Arrests Uncle of Mahsa Amini Ahead of Death Anniversary

FILE - A person holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a rally in Washington on Oct. 1, 2022. Protesters called for regime change in Iran following the death of Amini, a woman who died in custody in Tehran. News reports say Amini's uncle was arrested on Sept. 5, 2023.

News reports from Iran say authorities have arrested the uncle of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman whose death in police custody last year sparked months of anti-government protests.

Safa Aeli was detained Tuesday at his residence in Saqqez and taken to an undisclosed location, the reports said.

Sources cited by Kurdish news agency Kurdpa said security forces entered the home without presenting a judicial order.

The arrest comes ahead of the September 16 anniversary of the death of Amini, who had been detained by the morality police for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely. Iran saw months of anti-government protests after her death.

Activists allege that Iranian authorities have been carrying out an increasing number of arrests as the anniversary approaches.

In August, Amnesty International accused Iran of ramping up a campaign of harassment and intimidation against the families of those killed in last year’s protests. The group said it documented the cases of 36 victims’ families from 10 provinces across the country who have been subjected to human rights violations in recent months.

The office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran, Abram Paley, has vehemently denounced the "overt attempts to instill fear among Iranians, who already have suffered profound losses, particularly on the eve of the anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death."

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