The top medical official in the southern province of Hormozgan has rejected some Iranian officials' claims that Mahsa Amini, a young woman who died after apparently being beaten by morality police, suffered a heart attack, saying the most likely cause of her death was a blow to the head.
Amini, 22, died on September 16, a few days after being taken into police custody in Tehran for allegedly breaking the country's hijab rules.
Eyewitnesses told journalists that Amini, who fell into a coma after being admitted to a hospital, appeared to have been beaten inside the morality police van while being taken to the detention center.
Iranian officials have rejected the accusations, with Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi claiming that Amini had a previous illness and that the morality police "basically do not have the tools to beat the detainees."
WATCH: Protests continued across Iran on September 20 for a sixth straight day. Iranian police denied accusations of mistreatment, calling Amini's death an "unfortunate incident."
Dr. Hossein Karampour, in a letter on September 18, to Mohammad Raeiszadeh, the president of the Iranian Medical Council, urged the organization to fulfill its duties over Amini's death.
Referring to the published pictures of Mahsa Amini in the hospital, which shows her bleeding from the ear and bruises under her eyes, Karampour wrote that these symptoms "do not match the reasons given by some authorities who declared the cause to be a heart attack," but rather "it is consistent with the symptoms associated with a head injury and the resulting bleeding."
Karampour asked the president of the Iranian Medical Council to "act honestly and courageously to clarify and reveal the truth" and stand by the people.
According to reports published on social networks, Amini had traveled from the western province of Kurdistan to Tehran to meet relatives when she was arrested by morality police on September 13.
Amjad Amini, Mahsa's father, said in an interview with Emtedad news website that based on the calls of many girls who were detained with his daughter that day, he is sure that "she was beaten."
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 four people have been reported killed in Iran during protests over Amini's death.
On Twitter, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Tehran to "end its systemic persecution of women and to allow peaceful protest," adding that the United States mourned Mahsa Amini along with the Iranian people.