Iranian security forces on Saturday dispersed demonstrations in the northwest of the country with tear gas after the death of a woman detained in Tehran by morale police, local media reported. Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested on Tuesday by a special police unit accused of enforcing the strict dress code imposed on Iranian women, such as the requirement to cover their hair.
State television announced his death on Friday after spending three days in a coma. She was buried on Saturday in her hometown of Sagez in Kurdistan province, according to Fars news agency. After the funeral, people “raised slogans demanding a detailed investigation into the case,” according to the same source.
“Protesters then gathered in front of the governor’s office,” shouted another source, “dispersed by tear gas fired by security forces.” State television on Friday showed excerpts of a video showing a room in a police station where numerous women appear. One of them, introduced as Mahsa Amini, stands up to argue with the “regime” and then collapses.
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In another quote, emergency services transport the woman’s body in an ambulance. Tehran police confirmed her death on Friday and assured that “there was no physical contact” between the agents and the girl. The Iranian president, for his part, indicated that President Ibrahim Raisi has assigned the interior minister to investigate the case.
The head of Tehran’s forensic service said on state television on Saturday that an investigation into the woman’s death was underway but would take three weeks. Mahsa Amini’s death comes amid controversy over the conduct of the morality police, who patrol public spaces to check the application of the veil law and other Islamic rules.
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the law in force in Iran has required women, whether Iranian or foreign and of any religion, to wear headscarves outside. However, over the past 20 years, more and more women in Tehran and other major cities have left a significant portion of their hair in spite of the veil.
A 22-year-old Iranian woman who was in a coma after being detained by morality police in Tehran died on Friday, official television and her family announced, sparking outrage among activists calling for justice.
Mahsa Amini was visiting the Iranian capital with her family when she was arrested on Tuesday by a special police unit responsible for enforcing strict clothing rules imposed on Iranian women, such as the obligation to cover their hair.
Tehran police said in a statement Thursday that Amini was detained along with other women to receive “clarifications and instructions” about the dress code. “Suddenly, she developed a heart problem… She was rushed to the hospital,” the statement said.
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“Unfortunately, he died and his body has been transferred to a medico-legal institution,” state television said on Friday. Police confirmed the death in a statement indicating there was “no” “physical contact” between the agents and the woman.
Mahsa Amini “as well as a certain number of people, for wearing inappropriate clothes, were taken to one of the police headquarters”, but “she suddenly fainted while she was with others in a meeting room”, the same source said. .
State television showed excerpts of a video apparently showing a room in a police station, where numerous women appear. One of them, introduced as Mahsa Amini, stands up to argue with the “regime” and then collapses.
In another quote, emergency services transport the woman’s body in an ambulance. Persian media, such as the Iranwire website or the Sharq Daily newspaper, collected statements from her family stating that she had been taken to hospital in a coma hours after her arrest and had now died.
The NGO Amnesty International responded, “The circumstances that led to the suspicious death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini during detention, such as allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, should be the subject of a criminal investigation.” “The so-called ‘morality police’ in Tehran arbitrarily arrested her three days before her death under the country’s humiliating, discriminatory and degrading veil law. All responsible agents and officials must answer for their actions,” he added.
The United States called the deaths “inexcusable”. We will continue to hold Iranian officials accountable for such human rights abuses,” President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jack Sullivan tweeted. Iran’s lawyer Saeed Dehkhan claimed on Twitter that the incident was an “assassination” and that Amini suffered a blow to the head that caused a skull fracture. Hadi Ghemi, director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, described it as “a tragedy that could have been prevented”.
“The government of Iran is responsible. She was detained under the state’s discriminatory veil law and died in a state detention center,” he said. Before announcing his death on television, the Iranian president said in a statement that President Ibrahim Raisi had assigned the interior minister to investigate the case.
The country’s judiciary also announced the formation of a special team to investigate what happened through its Mizan online press agency. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the law in force in Iran has required women, whether Iranian or foreign and of any religion, to wear headscarves outside. However, over the past 20 years, more and more women in Tehran and other major cities have left a significant portion of their hair in spite of the veil.