The Daily Telegraph
Iranian women burn hijabs after ‘sister’ dies
Protesters denounce heavy-handed methods of ‘morality police’ in arrest and death of Mahsa Amini
Iranian women have burnt their headscarves and cut off their hair in protest at the death of a 22-year-old woman at the hands of Tehran’s “morality police”. Videos posted on social media show protesters setting fire to hijabs while calling for “revenge for our sister”, Mahsa Amini, who died in hospital last week. Ms Amini was in a coma for three days after her arrest for allegedly not conforming to dress codes for women. Protesters want to know the circumstances of her death.
IRANIAN women are burning their headscarves and cutting off their hair in protest at the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest by Tehran’s notorious “morality police”.
Videos posted on social media show protesters setting fire to hijabs while calling for “revenge for our sister”, who died in hospital on Friday.
Ms Amini was in a coma for three days following her arrest for allegedly not conforming to the strict dress code for women.
Demonstrators are demanding to know the circumstances of her death after witnesses accused officers of beating her, contradicting police claims that there was “no physical contact”.
Many Iranian women have cut their hair in protest and to express anger at the way they are treated by the police.
During a concert in Frankfurt, Googoosh – arguably the country’s most famous female singer – gave an emotional speech on behalf of Ms Amini.
Some protests have ended in violence, with security forces opening fire in Iran’s Kurdish region on Monday, killing at least five and injuring hundreds, according to local rights groups. Two of the deaths reportedly took place in Ms Amini’s home city of Saqez.
Social media videos appeared to show protesters running from gunfire in Divandarreh in Kurdistan province, while fresh protests also broke out in Tehran, including in several universities, and in Iran’s second city, Mashhad.
Police in the capital used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters chanting slogans denouncing the so-called morality police, the enforcers of the Islamic republic’s draconian laws which include requiring women to wear headscarves in public.
Several hundred people gathered on Tehran’s Hijab Street chanting “Death to the Islamic Republic!” as they removed their headscarves.
The removal of the head of Tehran’s morality police and President Ebrahim Raisi’s announcement of an investigation into Ms Amini’s death have failed to quell public anger.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iranian women have been banned from wearing tight trousers, clothing that reveals the knees, ripped jeans or brightly-coloured outfits – as well as being required to wear headscarves.
Hundreds gathered on Hijab Street chanting ‘Death to the Islamic Republic!’
Tehran’s police chief General Hossein Rahimi on Monday rejected “unjust accusations against the police”.
He said Ms Amini had violated the dress code but that “the evidence shows that there was no negligence or inappropriate behaviour on the part of the police ... This is an unfortunate incident and we wish never to see such incidents again.” Police blamed Ms Amini’s death on a heart attack, releasing CCTV footage appearing to show her collapsing.
But Ms Amini’s family questioned the police’s explanation, saying she was “in perfect health”.
Her father, Amjad Amini, told Fars News Agency, he “did not accept” the footage, adding that he believed it had been altered. Witnesses said Ms Amini was beaten inside a police van while being taken to a detention centre.
Ms Amini’s death has been condemned by Nada Al-nashif, Acting UN Commissioner for Human Rights.
“Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority,” she said.
The Iranian authorities “must stop targeting, harassing, and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules”, Ms Al-nashif added.
France has called for a “transparent investigation ... to shed light on the circumstances of this tragedy”.