Mahsa Amini, 22, dies after being beaten by morality police over hijab row
Many Iranians protested in the streets after the 22-year-old, Mahsa Amini, held by the morality police, died in custody. Some even express their disapproval on social media.
Mahsa Amini and her family were reportedly travelling from the western Iranian province of Kurdistan to the capital, Tehran, to visit relatives when they were imprisoned for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress regulations for women.
Amini was allegedly beaten in the police van, according to witnesses. However, the police dispute the claim.
The report comes weeks after Iran’s hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, called for greater implementation of the nation’s mandated dress code, which requires all women to wear the hijab head-covering since the 1979 Islamic revolution, and ordered a crackdown on women’s rights.
According to the Iranian human rights organization Hrana, during her arrest, Amini’s family was reportedly informed that she would be released following a “re-education session.”
After that, she was taken to the hospital, where videos of her lying unconscious were circulated online. On Friday, Amini died of head injuries. Women marched out of their homes, outraged by her death, to protest the atrocities perpetrated by the moral police.
Police Brutality In Iran
On August 15, Raisi issued a directive strictly regulating women’s attire and outlining severe penalties for transgressing the rigorous code both offline and online.
Following the national “hijab and chastity day,” which was proclaimed on July 12, women have been detained all around the country. One of the women was Sepideh Rashno, a writer and artist who was allegedly beaten and tortured and forced to make an on-camera apology.
Social media users have also brought attention to the deaths of other everyday people and activists while they were detained, including the Iranian-Canadian environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami and blogger Sattar Beheshti in 2012 and 2018, as well as the doctor and women’s rights activist Zahra Bani-Yaghoub, who died in prison in 2007 after being arrested by the morality police. The Iranian authorities attributed all of these deaths while detained to strokes without taking responsibility for them, despite the overwhelming evidence of the assault.
According to a report from an Iranian national newspaper, the Iranian regime, which is now totally run by radicals, has taken a tougher stance than usual in light of the economic crisis and hardship the Iranian people are experiencing.
Based on the report, hijab enforcement patrols in Iran are prosecuting close to 16,000 women. They detain many women on the streets, sometimes forcibly, while government and military officials warn the public not to breach the law.
The brutality of the police has grown so prevalent in recent months that daily videos of such violent arrests of women and young girls, as well as clashes between spectators and hijab enforcement, are routinely uploaded online.