Controversy in Iran over the death of a young woman detained by the Moral Police for wearing the wrong veil

Thousands of people have attended this Saturday the funeral and burial of the woman


This Saturday, the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was buried, who died of serious injuries sustained after being arrested last Tuesday by the Greater Tehran Morale Police, apparently for not wearing the veil properly.

Amini was transferred to a hospital already in a coma the day of her arrest after “suffering a heart attack”, according to the police version, and finally died on Friday due to the severity of her injuries.

Thousands of people have attended the woman’s funeral in her hometown, Aychi, in the Saghez region, in Iranian Kurdistan in the northwest of the country, according to the Iranian news agency IRNA. Family members and neighbors as well as authorities from the Saghez region have been at the event.

This case would have caused spontaneous protests on Friday and videos of people chanting phrases such as “Death to the dictator!” in reference to Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or drivers honking their horns as they passed Tehran’s Kasri Hospital where Amini died.

Amini was arrested in Tehran when she was with her brother for “improperly” wearing the hijab, or Islamic headscarf. The intervention is attributed to agents of the Orientation Patrol or Moral Police, in charge of ensuring that dress standards are respected, which usually results in the arrest of women, although some men have also been arrested.

The Moral Police have shown security camera images of the moment the woman entered the police station, according to IRNA. In addition, he has assured that according to a first investigation “there was no physical contact with her neither in the car nor in the place”.

Media such as the newspaper ‘Etemad’, related to the reformist currents, have echoed the news, but so has the official Fars news agency, dependent on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the elite military and ideological body of the regime of the Islamic Republic.

Fars has even published an open petition for signatures calling for “an end to the unwritten compulsory hijab law” and “an investigation into the causes of Mahsa Amini’s death.” The media also assures that both high authorities, starting with the Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, have ordered a “thorough and urgent” investigation of what happened.

“He’s gone… He’s gone,” Mahsa Amini’s mother lamented this Saturday in statements to the press, according to the Human Rights Watch human rights organization. The family was informed that the woman was taken to a Moral Police headquarters for “an education and guidance class.”

After two hours of waiting in front of the Moral Police station, her brother discovered that the woman had been taken by ambulance to a hospital. At that time he and other witnesses could hear screams and several women who left the place said that “she has killed someone.”

This is not the first such incident. In July, a police officer arrested a woman who was harassed, beaten and recorded for breaking the unwritten rule on the hijab. She was taken to hospital with internal bleeding and later forced to apologize publicly on state television.

“For a woman to die after being arrested because of the way she was dressed is proof of unacceptable depravity. A transparent investigation is absolutely necessary, that those responsible for Mahsa’s death are properly held accountable and that the family receives reparation,” HRW said. it’s a statement.

The group also calls for “the abolition of the compulsory hijab law” and other regulations that deprive women of their autonomy and rights.

Amnesty International has also called for “a criminal investigation into the accusations of torture and other ill-treatment in custody (…). All responsible agents and authorities must be brought to justice.”

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