Giorgia Meloni, set to become Italy’s first female prime minister, hailed on Wednesday “the heroic uprising of Iranian women” following the death of a young woman in police custody.
The tweet was one of Meloni’s first statements since her nationalist Brothers of Italy party won a parliamentary election on Sunday, propelling her conservative alliance to power and opening the way for her to become prime minister.
“All my sympathy to the brave women who are fighting in Iran and around the world to defend their rights and freedom,” Meloni wrote. “Dozens are dead and hundreds of activists, lawyers and journalists arrested.”
Protests have broken out across Iran after Mahsa Amini, 22, died in custody following her arrest on Sept. 13 in Tehran for “unsuitable attire” by the morality police who enforce the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.
Iranian officials have said 41 people, including members of the police and a pro-government militia, had been killed during the protests. Human rights groups have reported a higher toll.