Iranian TikToker Hadis Najafi, 23, 'shot dead' during demonstrations in Karaj

Hadis Najafi posted regular updates on Instagram and TikTok. Credit: Instagram / hadisnajafi78

A 23-year-old TikToker was shot dead during demonstrations in Iran sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the country's morality police.

Hadis Najafi was shot multiple times in the heart, abdomen and neck during a protest in Karaj last week, her mother said.

The Iranian government said Ms Najafi was shot by protesters, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

Hadis Najafi.

They said she was shot by a type of weapon not used by police officers.

But this is widely disputed by Iranians and the woman's family.

In a video on social media, her mother said the family had not been allowed to see their daughter in hospital after she was shot.

Police officers had barred their way, and had hit Ms Najafi's father as they attempted to see her.

Protests broke out in Iran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was held by authorities for violating the country’s strictly-enforced Islamic dress code.

Ms Najafi was an avid user of TikTok and Instagram, regularly sharing videos and pictures of her life. In a video she sent a friend Farzad Seifikaran on the night she was killed, she said: "I like to think that when I think about this a few years later I'll be pleased I joined the protest."

Iranian exiles protest outside Iran's embassy in Berlin. Credit: AP

A viral video showing a woman pulling her hair back into a ponytail before taking to the streets that has become a symbol of the anti-hijab demonstrations is not Ms Najafi's last moments despite social media users suggesting otherwise.

Security forces in Iran have arrested hundreds of protestors since the spread of nationwide protests against the death of Ms Amini. She had been picked up by Iran’s morality police for her allegedly wearing her headscarf, or hijab, loose.

Many Iranians, particularly the young, have come to see her death as part of the Islamic Republic’s heavy-handed policing of dissent and the authorities' increasingly violent treatment of young women.

Vehicles have been set ablaze in downtown Tehran as anger over Ms Amini's death grows. Credit: AP

This has led to daring displays of defiance, in the face of beatings, and arrest. There have been reports of several deaths at the hands of police. In street protests, some women tore off their mandatory headscarves, demonstratively twirling them in the air, or burned them.

The death of Ms Amini has been met with condemnation from governments around the world, and protests beyond.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered at the Iran embassy in London on Sunday afternoon. Twelve people were arrested and five police officers are in hospital with serious injuries including broken bones.


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