In Iran, new demonstrations after the death of a young woman who was arrested by the morality police

New demonstrations took place on Sunday September 18 and Monday September 19 in Iran, especially in Tehran and Mashhad, to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, three days after the arrest him to the morality police in Tehran.

On September 13, Mahsa Amini was arrested in Tehran for “wearing inappropriate clothes” by the unit responsible for enforcing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strict dress code for women. The young woman fell into a coma after she was arrested and died on September 16 at the hospital, according to state television and her family. Activists condemned his death “suspicious”, but the Tehran police admitted that there was none “No physical contact” between the police and the victim.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for an investigation. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, condemned, on Monday, a death “unacceptable”. “Those responsible must be held accountable”said Peter Stano, a spokesman for Mr. Borrell, in a statement. “Iranian authorities must ensure that the fundamental rights of their citizens are respected,” he added.

The young woman’s death sparked a wave of outrage in Iran. A demonstration took place on Sunday night in Sanandaj, capital of Kurdistan province, in the northwest of the country, where Mahsa Amini is from, and other protests took place on Monday in several universities in Tehran, the capital. in the local media. Monday night, on Hejab street (“muslim veil” in Persian) in the center of Tehran, “Several hundred people chanted slogans against the authorities, some of them took off their hijab”informed the Fars agency.

BBC reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh especially relayed on Twitter some videos of activists or journalists available on the site:

“Suspicious” death

A short video released by the agency showed a crowd of several dozen people, including women who removed their veils and screamed. “Death to the Islamic Republic”. “The police arrested many people and dispersed the crowd with truncheons and tear gas”, added the Fars agency. A similar gathering took place in Mashhad, the country’s first holy city located in the northeast, Tasnim agency reported.

After an initial demonstration on Saturday in Saghez, Mahsa Amini’s hometown, a protest of around 500 people took place in Sanandaj, according to Fars. “Demonstrators shouted slogans against those responsible, broke car windows and set fire to garbage cans”, the agency said. Used by the police “tear gas to break people up” and arrested “a lot of people”. “Many protesters are convinced that Mahsa died under torture”also wrote in Fars.

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In the Iranian capital, students launched protest movements at several universities, including those of Tehran and Shahid Beheshti, according to the Tasnim agency. They asked the authorities “clarification” on the death of the Iranian woman. Tehran’s police chief, General Hossein Rahimi, also rejected the “Unfair accusations against the police”. “There is no negligence on our part. We do surveys (…) And all the evidence shows that there was no negligence, or inappropriate behavior on the part of the police. “he said.

“This is a very sad incident and we want to never witness such incidents again”, he added. The general emphasized again that the young woman had violated the dress code, and that the police had asked Mahsa Amini’s relatives to take her away. “decent clothes”.

The controversial morality police

On the day of her death, state television broadcast a short surveillance video showing a woman identified as Mahsa Amini collapsing at the police station after a discussion with a female officer. On Monday, Amjad Amini, father of the victim, told Fars that the “The video has[vait] cut off” and claims that his daughter has “took a long time to be transferred to the hospital”.

Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday that “Mahsa apparently had problems in the past” and that he “Had brain surgery when he was 5 years old”. The information was denied by the father, who assured that his daughter “in perfect health”. The head of Tehran’s medical examiner’s office told state television on Saturday that investigations into the cause of the young woman’s death were ongoing, but would take three weeks.

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Many filmmakers, artists, sports, politicians and religious people expressed their anger on social networks after the death of the young woman. Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi reacted on his Instagram account and called Amini’s death in custody a “crime”. Mahsa Amini’s death comes as controversy grows over the conduct of the vice police, who patrol public places to check the headscarf law and other Islamic rules.

Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, the law has required all women to wear a veil that covers the head and neck while covering the hair. However, in the last two decades, more and more women in Tehran and other major cities are letting out strands of hair, or rather, sticking out of their veils.

The World with AFP

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