In Iran, the death of a young woman arrested by morality police sparks protests

In Iran, the death of a young woman arrested by morality police sparks protests
Mahsa Amini, died on September 17, 2022 in a hospital in Tehran, Iran.

Her name was Mahsa Amini. This 22-year-old Iranian woman died on Friday, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran. His funeral, Saturday, September 17, in his hometown of Saqqez, in the province of Kurdistan, gave rise to a demonstration that the Iranian security forces dispersed with tear gas. The day before a rally had taken place near theKasra Hospital in Tehranwhere she died.

Mahsa Amini was arrested on Tuesday by the police unit responsible for enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women, including the compulsory wearing of the headscarf in public. State television announced Friday his death after three days in a coma.

Two hours between arrest and transfer to hospital

His brother told the website IranWire that while he was waiting for his sister outside the police station, he saw an ambulance coming out and taking her to the hospital. He says he was informed that she had suffered a heart attack and stroke and was in a coma. “It was only two hours between his arrest and his transfer to the hospitalhe said, announcing his intention to file a complaint. I have nothing to lose. I will not leave things like this without protesting. »

After his funeral, people “have chanted slogans demanding detailed investigations into this case”, reports the Iranian news agency Fars. The “protesters then gathered outside the governor’s office” chanting “other slogans” before being “dispersed by the security forces, who fired tear gas”.

State television broadcast on Friday extracts from a video showing a room, obviously in a police station, where you can see many women. One of them, introduced as Mahsa Amini, gets up to chat with a “instructor” about her attire, then she collapses. In another excerpt, the emergency service transports the woman’s body to an ambulance. Tehran police confirmed the death on Friday, saying “that there had been no physical contact” between the police officers and the young woman.

Abuse of the morality police

The Iranian presidency had announced, for its part, that President Ebrahim Raïsi had instructed the Minister of the Interior to investigate this affair. 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.

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 swells over the conduct of the vice police, who patrol public places to check compliance with the headscarf law and other Islamic rules.

Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, the law requires all women to wear a veil covering the head and neck while concealing the hair. However, over the past two decades, more and more women in Tehran and other major cities are letting strands of hair, or even more, stick out of their veils.

Read also: The app that tracks Iranian vice squads

Le Monde with AP and AFP

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