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20220925 194855

Violence erupts in Iran after woman dies in ‘morality police’ custody

thehourlynews 2 weeks ago 0
20220925 194855

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Security forces cracked down on protesters demonstrating across Iran over the death of a young woman in the custody of the so-called morality police, reportedly killing five.

The death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman from western Iran, during a visit to the capital this month has sparked outrage over the government’s increasingly strict enforcement of ultra-conservative dress codes for women. Amini was detained as she was leaving a subway station, she suffered a heart attack and slipped into a coma while she was in custody, state-affiliated media said. Her family insisted that she had no previous health problems and activists claimed that the police could have beaten her.

Monday marked the third day of unrest in Iran, with protests in numerous places, including Tehran, the capital. Two people were killed when security forces fired on protesters in the Kurdish city of Saqez, Amini’s hometown, while two others were killed in the city of Divandarreh and a fifth was killed in Dehgolan, according to hangaw, a guardian of rights. The Washington Post could not immediately independently verify the claims.

In Tehran, photos from the scene of a protest showed protesters huddled around a burning motorcycle. Videos posted on social media appeared to show protesters injured after clashing with authorities. Internet access was restricted in some parts of the country.

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Iran has not confirmed any deaths during the protests. The semi-official Fars news agency reported that the security forces dispersed the protesters in several cities and that the leaders of some of the protests were detained by the police.

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A senior morality police officer, Colonel Ahmed Mirzaei, was suspended after Amini’s death, according to Iran International, a London-based news channel. Officials denied those claims, The Guardian reported. The Interior Ministry previously ordered an investigation into Amini’s death at the behest of arch-conservative Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The police commander of the Tehran metropolitan area told reporters that Amini was walking in a park and was wearing an inappropriate hijab. He said that she did not resist arrest and even made jokes in the police van. The veil and other conservative dress have been mandatory for women since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

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Raisi is in New York this week, where he will address the UN General Assembly on the country’s relations with the West. He told reporters at the Tehran airport that he has no plans to meet with President Biden on the sidelines of the event, the Associated Press reported. Indirect negotiations between Washington and Tehran to revive a 2015 nuclear deal appear on the verge of stalling.

Raisi, a hardline cleric who took office last year, has called for dress codes to be strictly enforced. Last month, a video appeared to show a woman detained by Iran’s increasingly assertive targeting patrols being thrown from a speeding van.

The government crackdown sparked a protest movement over the summer by Iranian women, who photographed themselves without headscarves and posted the images on social media.

Kareem Fahim contributed to this report.


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