A popular young chef, who was dubbed Iran’s Jamie Oliver, has been killed in Iran, sparking a new wave of unrest.
The young man was arrested during a protest and reportedly beaten to death with batons at the IRGC Intelligence’s detention center, according to local media.
Iranian authorities have denied any responsibility in the young chef’s death, adding that they will announce the cause of his death later.
On Friday, Chief Justice of the province, Abdolmehdi Mousavi, said that “there are no signs of fractures in the arms, legs, skull, or any brain injury.”
Deputy Governor of the province, Behnam Nazari, meanwhile, is quoted as saying that “the rumors are being spread by anti-Iran media, but no bullets have been shot at Mehrshad Shahidi.”
Protests flared up during Shahidi’s funeral, which was attended by hundreds of mourners.
Security forces allegedly fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, who were reportedly chanting: “Everyone who is killed will be supported by thousands more”.
Dr Reza Taghizadeh, an Iranian affairs commentator, alleged that the killing was causing a “second and even greater wave of national protests against the regime in the same way Mahsa Amini’s death did a month ago”.
Riots have swept across Iran over Amini’s savage death after she was battered to death by the IRGC for not following the country’s strict hijab rules.
Amini, 22, was declared brain dead after she was arrested and reportedly beaten into a coma for not covering her hair with a hijab.
A Norwegian-based NGO, Iran Human Rights, on Friday claimed that at least 253 people, including 34 children and 19 women, have been killed in the ongoing nationwide protests.
Shahidi was killed on the 40th day of the protests.