Iran: New protests after the death of a woman arrested by the morality police

New demonstrations have taken place in Iran to protest the death of Mahsa Aminia young woman detained by the morality police, the police again on Monday denying any responsibility for the death.

A demonstration took place on Sunday evening in Sanandaj, capital of Kurdistan province in northwestern Iran, and other protests took place at several universities in the capital on Monday, according to the Fars and Tasnim news agencies. .

On September 13, Masha Amini, from the Kurdistan region, was arrested in Tehran for "wearing inappropriate clothes" by the vice police, a unit responsible for enforcing the Islamic Republic of Iran's strict dress code for the women.

In Iran, covering your hair is compulsory in public. The morality police further prohibit women from wearing short coats above the knee, tight pants and jeans with holes as well as brightly colored outfits, among other things.

The young woman fell into a coma after her arrest and died on September 16 in hospital, according to state television and her family.

Activists called his death “suspicious” but Tehran police said last week there was “no physical contact” between police and the victim.

The death of the young woman sparked a wave of anger in Iran. And Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has called for an investigation to be opened.

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.

"Regrettable incident" 

“Protesters shouted slogans against those responsible, smashed car windows and set fire to garbage cans,” the agency said. The police used “tear gas to disperse the crowd” and arrested “several people”.

“Many protesters are convinced that Mahsa died under torture,” Fars wrote.

In the Iranian capital, students have launched protest movements in several universities, including those of Tehran and Shahid Beheshti, according to Tasnim.

They demanded from the authorities “clarifications” on the death of the Iranian.

Tehran's police chief, General Hossein Rahimi, again rejected the "unfair accusations against the police".

“There was no negligence on our part. We conducted investigations (…) And all the evidence shows that there was no negligence, or inappropriate behavior on the part of the police,” he said.

“This is a regrettable incident and we wish to never witness such incidents again,” he added.

“Decent Clothes” 

General Rahimi again stressed that the young woman had violated the dress code, and that the police had asked Mahsa's relatives to bring her "decent clothes".

On the day of his death, state television broadcast a short surveillance video showing a woman identified as Mahsa Amini collapsing in police premises after a discussion with a female officer.

On Monday, Amjad Amini, the victim's father, told Fars that the "video was cut" and claimed his daughter had "been transferred to hospital late".

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday that “Mahsa apparently had previous problems” and that she “underwent brain surgery when she was five years old”.

Information denied by the victim's father, who assured that his daughter was "in perfect health".

The young woman was arrested while she was in Tehran visiting with her family.

In recent months, the morality police have been criticized for violent interventions.

Many filmmakers, artists, sports, political and religious figures have expressed their anger on social networks after the death of the young woman.

The former president and leader of the reformist current Mohammad Khatami called on the authorities to "bring to justice the perpetrators" of this act.

Persecution of Christians in Iran

As a reminder, Iran is ranked 9th in theWorld Index of Persecution of Christians 2022 of the NGO Portes Ouvertes which indicates the "Islamic Republic of Iran is an authoritarian regime" where everything that comes from the West is considered a threat.

According to the organization, "the rights of the Christian minority are limited" while "Christians of Muslim background are pursued by the police and often arrested".

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock / canyalcin

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