Police in Iran have arrested two municipality officials in Kermanshah in connection with the death of a 55-year-old mother of seven, Asieh Panahi, which led to public outcry on social media.
Ms. Panahi, who lived with her daughter and grandchild in a slum in Kermanshah, 506 kilometers (314 miles) west of Tehran, died while trying to prevent city officers from demolishing her residence.
The chief of the Judiciary in Kermanshah province said on Saturday, May 30, "The judiciary wants to deal with the elements that may have violated the law, and thus caused the death of Ms. Panahi."
A video posted on social media of Asieh Panahi's resistance to Kermanshah municipal agents shows that she threw herself into a loader's bucket. However, the details of her death are still unknown. Some reports suggest she may have been beaten, but the Kermanshah municipality has denied this.
However, many Iranians have compared Ms. Panahi’s death to the killing of George Floyd in the United States and have mocked those Iranian officials who have launched public attacks on the U.S. for Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests.
The local Judiciary says coroner's office should decide whether there is a connection between the agents' actions and the death of Ms. Panahi. Earlier, Kermanshah Prosecutor, Shahram Karami, had said that "no signs of beatings" had been found on the body of Asieh Panahi, and that the Medical Examiner had ordered an autopsy.
Kermanshah Municipality Public Relations also maintains that the cause of her death was "cardiac arrest".
However, the Judiciary has also suggested that Kermanshah Municipality's move to demolish Ms. Panahi's home might have been against the law.
"We should see whether the municipality agents could have performed in a better manner to avoid what has occurred," an official said.
Furthermore, he reiterated: "Based on Article 217 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the head of Kermanshah's Executive Department has been arrested."
A few hours earlier, the Mayor of Kermanshah had announced the dismissal of the head of the Kermanshah municipality's Executive Department and his deputy, as well as the head of the city's third district Legal Affairs Department.
The mayor of Kermanshah's District 3 has also been suspended, local reports say.