Iranian Woman Killed In Protests
United Arab Emirates: DUBAI On Monday, Iranians protested in the streets of the capital over the death of a young woman who had been imprisoned for disobeying the nation’s strict dress code.
According to the semi-official Fars news agency, protesting students gathered at numerous Tehran institutions to call for a probe into Mahsa Amini’s death and the dissolution of the morality police who were detaining her when she passed away.
Witnesses reported hearing chants of “Death to the Dictator” as protesters flooded into Keshavarz Boulevard, a major highway. In addition, they vandalized a police car and shouted anti-police chants. Due to security concerns, the witnesses spoke on the condition of anonymity.
As the scent of tear gas permeated the air late on Monday, Associated Press reporters observed rocks and trash cans that had been set on fire scattered across various downtown crossroads. Roads leading to the main Vali-e Asr square were blocked off by police. Mobile internet connection was not working in central Tehran, and riot police and plainclothes security personnel were seen everywhere.
At a handful of intersections, dozens of motorcycle protestors momentarily came, overturned garbage cans, and yelled against the government before swerving off.
Other cities saw a continuation of protests.
In the meantime, videos making the rounds on social media revealed a third day of protests in western Iranian Kurdish cities, as well as Rasht in the north and a university in Isfahan in the center. The validity of the video could not be independently confirmed by The Associated Press.
Last Tuesday, the 22-year-old Amini was detained by the morality police for failing to wear the hijab, an Islamic head covering that is required for Iranian women.
Police dispute that she was handled unfairly and claim that she died of a heart attack. Last Monday, they made closed-circuit video footage public that they claimed captured the moment she passed out. She had no history of cardiac problems, according to her family.
Kurdish Amini was laid to rest on Saturday in her hometown of Saqez in western Iran. After her funeral, protests broke out there, and on Saturday and Sunday, police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. A number of demonstrators were detained.
In a phone chat with Amini’s family, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who left for New York on Monday to give a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, ordered an investigation and promised to pursue the matter. A legislative committee and the judiciary are both conducting investigations into the incident.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, women in Iran have been required to wear the headscarf, and the morality police are tasked with upholding this and other regulations. Recent criticism of the force has focused on how it treats young women in particular.
In 2017, dozens of women removed their head coverings in protest. In reaction to an economic crisis aggravated by Western sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, Iranians have also turned to the streets in recent years.
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