RIYADH: The family of Mahsa Amini say they have received death threats by Iranian authorities, warning them not to participate in protests, BBC reported.
The death of a 22-year-old Amini at the hands of Tehran's morality police has sparked one of Iran's largest civil uprisings in over a decade.
Beaten into a coma while being detained for allegedly violating strict dress code, her death became a symbol of Iranian repression.
"Our family have been under immense pressure from the Islamic Republic's officials, so we don't talk to human rights organizations or channels outside of Iran and inform anyone from the outside world about her passing," her cousin Erfan Mortezai tells BBC.
Mortezai is a Peshmerga fighter for Komala, an Iraq-based exiled Iranian Kurdish opposition party that Iran accuses of separatism.
However, the Amini family in Iran have repeatedly denied supporting Kurdish opposition groups.
Mortezai refers to his late cousin as Zhina, the name she was called by her loved ones. Because certain Kurdish names are prohibited in Iran, her parents were forced to use Mahsa as her official Iranian name on documentation.
"Zhina was a normal person, she was not political. The regime have been making up scenarios and disinformation - saying that Zhina was in contact with me and I taught her and sent her back to Iran to do a certain activity, when in fact this is completely baseless," Mortezai said.
He tells the BBC that regime officials have threatened the family in Iran via Instagram, using fake accounts to warn them that if they participate in the protests, they might be killed.
"Myself, I have been receiving many threats over the phone, [saying] that if they see me in the city, they will kidnap me and kill me," he added.
Morteza shared a video with BBC of the family gathered at a cemetery on what would have been Amini’s 23rd birthday.
The video shows a cake decorated with her face carefully placed on her grave, while cries and screams can be heard in the background.