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Iran says it has summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors as protests over the death of a young woman in police custody continue to rock the country.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday said it had summoned Simon Shercliff, the U.K.’s ambassador to Iran, on Saturday and protested the hosting of London-based Farsi language media outlets that are critical of the regime.
The ministry alleged that the news outlets have provoked disturbances and considers its reporting to be interference in Iran’s internal affairs and acts against its sovereignty.
The state-run IRNA news agency also reported that the ministry has summoned Norway’s ambassador to Iran and strongly protested recent remarks by the president of the Norwegian parliament, Masud Gharahkhani.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died in police custody after she was arrested by the morality police in Tehran earlier this month for allegedly wearing her Islamic headscarf too loosely. The police said she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family has cast doubt on that account.
Her death has launched unrest across Iran’s provinces and the capital of Tehran. As of Sunday, protests over her death have spread across at least 46 cities, towns and villages in Iran. State TV has suggested that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since the protests began on Sept. 17.
A member of the Basij, a volunteer force with Iran’s Guards, was killed by protesters Saturday night in Tehran, semi-official Fars news agency reported. Another Basij member, who was in a coma since Thursday after street clashes, died in Urmia, West Azerbaijan province on Sunday, IRNA reported.
Amini’s death has sparked sharp condemnation from Western countries and the United Nations, as well as protests in solidarity abroad. On Sunday, violent street demonstrations erupted outside the Iranian embassy in London, with rocks thrown at police and five protesters arrested. A number of police officers were injured in the skirmishes though none seriously.
Pro-government rallies were also held on Sunday in several cities across Iran. Thousands attended a rally in the capital’s Enghelab, or Revolution Square, waving Iranian flags. Some officials, including cabinet spokesman, Ali Bahadori Jahromi, attended the rally in Tehran.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.