The death of a young woman, arrested because her hijab was not put on correctly, inflames Iran

Dawn of a revolution in Iran? On September 13, Mahsa Amini was arrested in Tehran by the morality police, the “Gasht-e Ershad”, responsible for ensuring the application of strict dress rules for women in Iran. The 22-year-old, visiting the capital with her family, had put on her hijab incorrectly, according to the police. Wearing the veil is compulsory in the Islamic Republic. Visibly repressed during the arrest, the young woman was then transported to the hospital. She “had a heart condition”said the Tehran police, who assured that she had “passed out in a meeting room” and “that there had been no physical contact”. She then died on Friday, after three days in a coma.

His death set fire to the powder in the country. As of last Saturday, a first demonstration took place in the north of the country during which women, hair uncovered, brandished their veils in protest. A demonstration repressed with tear gas by the police. Protesters demand investigations into the Mahsa Amini case.

And the mobilization has grown over the days. Numerous demonstrations took place in several cities of the country, in particular in Tehran and Mashhad, as shown by many videos relayed on social networks. Women who burn their hijab, others who chant “death to the Islamic Republic” or “death to the dictatorship”. A small revolution in the country, where for more than 40 years, appearing in public without a hijab is punishable by imprisonment for women.

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

©AFP
The death of a young woman, arrested because her hijab was not put on correctly, inflames Iran
©AFP

The demonstrations are violently repressed by the police, so much so that the UN is concerned. According to a spokeswoman for the High Commission, Ravina Shamdasani, “two to five people were killed, according to some reports” during demonstrations to denounce the death of the young woman in several cities of the country including the capital Tehran. She said the police had “fired live ammunition” and used tear gas.

The death of a young woman, arrested because her hijab was not put on correctly, inflames Iran
©AFP
The death of a young woman, arrested because her hijab was not put on correctly, inflames Iran
©AFP

In Iranian Kurdistan too, where Mahsa Amini is from, tribute marches took place.

The death of a young woman, arrested because her hijab was not put on correctly, inflames Iran
©AFP

Political criticism

It also drew rare criticism from senior Islamic Republic officials. MP Jalal Rashidi Koochi told the ISNA news agency that the “Gasht-e Ershad achieves no results except to cause damage to the country”. “The main problem is that some people don’t want to see the truth,” he said. “Do the people who are taken by this orientation police to these explanation sessions regain consciousness and repent when they come out of it?” Asked the parliamentarian.

The Speaker of Parliament, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, ruled on Tuesday that the conduct of this police unit should be investigated to avoid a repeat of what happened with Ms. Amini. “In order to avoid the repetition of such cases, the methods used by these orientation patrols (…) should be reviewed,” he told the official IRNA agency.

Even more drastic, another parliamentarian announced his intention to propose the complete abolition of this force. so that the children of this country will not be afraid when they come across this force,” Moeenoddin Saeedi told the ILNA news agency on Monday.

Faced with anger, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for the opening of an investigation. The representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the province of Kurdistan, Abdolreza Pourzahabi, paid a two-hour visit to the family home of Mahsa Amini on Monday, according to the Tasnim agency.

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