17 Killed In Iran Protests Against Death of Woman

Thursday, September 22, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

TEHRAN (Worthy News) – Seventeen people have been killed by Iranian security forces in after a young woman died while being detained by morality police for violating ’s strict Islamic dress code, authorities said Thursday.

Mahsa Amini, 22, had been picked up in Tehran, the capital, for her allegedly loose headscarf, or hijab, triggering daring displays of defiance despite beatings and possible arrest.

Hengaw Organization for , a Norwegian-registered group monitoring rights violations in Iran, said at least five people were fatally shot during protests following her death.

Most killings reportedly happened during demonstrations in Iran’s Kurdish region in recent days. Aminj was originally from Saqqez in Kurdistan province.

At least 75 others were injured in the violent protests in recent days, according to human rights monitors.

Several women even tore off their mandatory headscarves, demonstratively twirling them in the air. Videos online showed two women throwing their hijabs into a bonfire. Another woman was seen cutting off her hair in a show of protest.

POLICING DISSENT

Protestors, particularly the young, condemned what they saw as the Islamic Republic’s heavy-handed policing of dissent.

They also noted the morality police’s increasingly violent treatment of young women like Amini, who died Friday in a hospital in northern Tehran.

She had been arrested on Tuesday and reportedly was taken to a hospital shortly afterward. Amini suffered multiple blows to the head before she died, according to her family and investigators.

She was arrested in her brother’s car during a visit to see family members in the capital, several sources said.

Amini’s family says officers beat her in the police van after her arrest, citing eyewitnesses who support that claim. Her father said “she was beaten to death” in custody.

Police rejected the allegations, saying Amini died Friday after being taken to a hospital because she had a heart attack.

TENSIONS REMAIN

That explanation did little to ease tensions. At some rallies, demonstrators clashed with police, and thick clouds of tear gas were seen rising for another day in Tehran.

Protesters were also chased and beaten with clubs by the motorcycle-riding Basij, witnesses said. The Basij volunteers in Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard violently suppressed previous protests, including over water rights and the country’s troubled economy.

Yet some demonstrators still chant “death to the dictator,” targeting both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s theocracy. They rallied despite the threat of arrest, imprisonment, and even the possibility of a death sentence.

Amid ongoing protests, the Acting United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif has demanded an impartial probe into the death of Amini.

The White House also condemned the incident, calling on Iran to end what it calls “violence against women for exercising their fundamental freedoms.”

Senior officials already promised a full investigation, including President Ebrahim Raisi, who called Amini’s family on Sunday to assure them her death would be investigated. “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones,” he was quoted as saying by several media.

PROBE LAUNCHED

The judiciary has already launched a probe, and a parliamentary committee is investigating the incident, Worthy News learned.

Wearing a hijab has been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with the hardline morality police in charge of enforcing that and other restrictions. Dozens of women removed their headscarves in protest in 2017.

With tensions rising, Tehran also attempts to force women outside Iran to wear a hijab, including in the United States. Iranian President Raisi canceled an interview with CNN’s journalist Christiane Amanpour of the United Nations General Assembly in New York after she refused to wear a headscarf.

Amanpour, who grew up in the Iranian capital Tehran and is a fluent Farsi speaker, said that she wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the local laws and customs, “otherwise you couldn’t operate as a journalist.”

But she stressed that she would not cover her head for an interview with an Iranian official outside a country where it is not required, such as America. However, “I don’t think he wanted to be seen next to a woman who doesn’t wear a headscarf at this point,” added Amanpour, who is of British-Iranian descent.

She spoke as the death toll rises amid broader discontent over an economic crisis exacerbated by Western sanctions linked to Iran’s nuclear program.

With tensions rising, at least some fear a promised investigation into the latest death of a woman allegedly killed for not wearing a headscarf properly will yield no results.

A video posted by a user of the social networking site Twitter, Faezeh Afshan, showed her cutting her long locks off with a pair of scissors. “You see this?! A 22-year-old girl was killed by ‘Hijab Police’ because she wasn’t wearing her hijab properly! She wasn’t the first and won’t be the last!” she warned.

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