Iranian Doctors Accuse Medical Officials Of Covering Up Cause Of Mahsa Amini's Death

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda

More than 800 members of Iran’s Medical Council have accused the head of the organization of helping the government "cover up" the cause of Mahsa Amini's death while in police custody.

In a statement published on October 11, the group says that Mohammad Raeiszadeh, the head of Iran’s Medical Council, used the name and reputation of the organization to "legitimize the so-called fact-finding committee to cover up the cause of Mahsa Amini's death."

"The fact-finding committee was formed behind closed doors and has no credibility” the signatories added.

Amini, 22, died on September 16, three days after being taken into police custody in Tehran for allegedly breaking the country's Islamic dress code.

Eyewitnesses told journalists that Amini, who fell into a coma after being admitted to a hospital, appeared to have been beaten inside the police van while it was taking her to a detention center.

The doctors who signed the statement said they "regretted" that the head of Iran’s Medical Council forgot the "moral and social obligation of doctors to defend the people."

An official coroner's report published on October 7 said Amini's death was not caused by blows to the head or limbs but was instead linked to disease, disputing her family's objections that the 22-year-old was in good health when taken into custody for purportedly wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, improperly.

The state-controlled ISNA news agency said on October 7 that a medical board had determined "underlying diseases" were the cause of death while making no mention of whether she had suffered any injuries.

Last month the top medical official in the southern province of Hormozgan had rejected some Iranian officials' claims, saying the most likely cause of Amini’s death was a blow to the head.

In a letter to Mohammad Raeiszadeh, the president of the Iranian Medical Council, on September 18, Dr. Hossein Karampour urged the organization to fulfill its duties over Amini's death.

Several other doctors, seeing the pictures of Amini in the hospital, have pointed out on social media that the cause of the bleeding from her ear could be a blow to the head.

Her death has sparked street protests in Iran and strong international reactions. At least 201 people, including 23 children, have been killed in nationwide protests that have rocked Iran since Amini died.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda