Who Is Aylar Haghi? Medical Student Killed During Protests in Iran

There has been an outpouring of anger on social media at the death of a female medical student in Iran where protests have posed the biggest threat to the regime since the revolution of 1979.

Aylar Haghi reportedly died in the city of Tabriz on Wednesday. BBC journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh tweeted that she was 23 and her Twitter account "shows she was opposed to the regime and backed the protests."

CBC journalist Samira Mohyeddin described Haghi as a fourth-year student at the University of Medical Sciences in the city in the east Azerbaijan province.

Many on social media said that she had been thrown off a building where she had taken refuge during demonstrations.

Borzou Daragahi, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and journalist with The Independent, tweeted that she had been "allegedly thrown off a roof by regime thugs."

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) women's committee, which is a coalition of opposition groups looking to overthrow the regime in Tehran, said that "a rebar had pierced through her abdomen and out from her back and ... she had died instantly."

Mourning Iranians
Iranians mourn in front of the coffins of people killed in a shooting attack, during their funeral in the city of Izeh in Iran's Khuzestan province, on November 18, 2022. Many have taken to social media to express anger at the death of medical student Aylar Haghi who reportedly died in the city of Tabriz on November 16, 2022, as unrest grips the country. ALIREZA MOHAMMADI/Getty Images

Daragahi shared video of what he said was Haghi's funeral, tweeting that the regime claims "she was one of many young Iranian protesters who died in accidents." Newsweek has contacted the Iranian Foreign Ministry for comment.

The Iranian regime "killed her for the crime of protesting," tweeted Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, "every single day young people are getting killed for saying no to [the] Islamic Republic."

"Khamenei's soldiers took Aylar's breath," she wrote in a tweet, according to a translation, referring to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Journalist Ali Javanmardi tweeted that families of those who died in protests such as Haghi, "have been pressured to say they died by suicide/falling from buildings."

Meanwhile, author and historian Nina Ansary tweeted an image of Haghi, with the message "there is no end to the atrocities of the Islamic Republic."

The death comes as the momentum of the unrest in Iran shows no sign of abating.

Demonstrations were initially focused on the treatment of women following the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, on September 16. Since then, they have transformed into a wider protest against the government.

Social media users also expressed anger at the deaths of two boys aged 10 and 14 who were reportedly shot during anti-government protests in Izeh, southwestern Iran, on Wednesday.

It came during a three-day nationwide strike on the third anniversary of the Bloody November uprising in which hundreds were killed.