Iran: New protests after death of woman in prison

Fresh protests have taken place across Iran, including Tehran and Mashhad, following the death of a young woman who was detained by morality police, and on Monday the police again denied responsibility for the killing.

A protest was held Sunday evening in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province in the northwest of the country where the young woman is from, and other protests were held Monday at several universities in the capital, local media reported. .

On Monday evening, “several hundred people chanted slogans against the government, some of them removed their hijabs,” on Hejab Street (“Muslim Veil” in Persian) in central Tehran, the Fars news agency reported.

A short video released by the agency showed a crowd of several dozen people, including women who had removed their veils, shouting “Death to the Islamic Republic.”

“The police arrested several people and dispersed the crowd with batons and tear gas,” Fars said.

A similar gathering was held in Mashhad, the country’s first holy city, located in the northeast, Tasnim news agency reported.

On September 13, Masha Amin was arrested in Tehran for “wearing inappropriate clothing” by the Vice Police, a unit tasked with enforcing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strict dress code for women.

Covering hair in public is mandatory in Iran. This police also prohibits women from wearing short jackets above the knee, tight pants and jeans with holes, as well as brightly colored clothes, among others.

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

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

The death of the young woman caused a wave of outrage in Iran. And the President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, demanded to start an investigation.

After an initial demonstration on Saturday in Saghez, Mahsa Amin’s hometown, a protest of about 500 people took place in Sanandaj, Fars reported.

– “Unfortunate Incident” –

“Demonstrators shouted slogans hostile to those responsible, smashed car windows and burned trash cans,” the agency said. The police used “tear gas” to disperse the crowd and arrested “several people”.

“Many protesters are convinced that Mahsa died as a result of torture,” writes Fars.

In the Iranian capital, students launched protest movements at several universities, including Tehran and Shahid Beheshti universities, Tasnim reported.

They demanded “explanations” from the government regarding the death of the Iranian.

Tehran’s police chief, General Hossein Rahim, again denied the “unfair accusations against the police”.

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

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

– “proper clothes” –

General Rahimi reiterated 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 her death, state television released a short surveillance video showing a woman identified as Mahsa Amin collapsing inside a police building after an argument with a female officer.

On Monday, Amjad Amin, the victim’s father, told Fars that “the video has been cut” and claimed that his daughter was “taken to the hospital late”.

Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday that “Mahsa appears to have had previous problems” and that he “underwent brain surgery when he was five years old”.

The father denied the information and assured that his daughter is “in perfect health”. A young woman was arrested while visiting Tehran with her family.

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

After the death of the young woman, a number of filmmakers, artists, sportsmen, politicians and religious figures expressed their anger on social networks.

European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday condemned the “unacceptable” death of the young woman and called on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

France, for its part, described as “deeply shocking” the arrest and death of this young Iranian, and called for “a transparent investigation to shed full light on the circumstances of this tragedy.” .

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