Protests in Iran escalate over death of 22-year-old woman in police custody
Morality police took Mahsa Amini into custody for allegedly breaking hijab rules. She was never seen alive again, and eyewitnesses claim police beat her into a coma
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, was taken in by “morality police” in Iran for allegedly breaking the rules by wearing a loose hijab. She then died while in police custody, and antigovernment protests have erupted all over Iran.
Human rights groups report that at least seven protesters have been killed during the unrest, per The New York Times.
Protesters are requesting to end the rule of the Islamic Republic, and women are burning hijabs in public and cutting their hair to protest the law, “which requires all women above the age of puberty to wear a head covering and loose clothing,” The New York Times reports.
Women chanted, “Death to the dictator,” per The Washington Post.
Demonstrators are becoming more brazen by chasing police vehicles and flipping police trucks. The unrest stems from the stronger crackdown of the morality police under President Ebrahim Raisi’s rule, with more strictly enforced dress codes, as well as economic turmoil that has plagued the country, according to The Washington Post.
Iranian officials say Amini died from a heart attack and fell into a coma, but witnesses attest that police beat the 22-year-old into a coma.
Her father accused the Iranian government of covering up the killing of his daughter, saying he was never allowed to see her body after she died.
“They’re lying. They’re telling lies. Everything is a lie,” Amjad Amini told BBC Persian.
In response to the widespread protests, the government shut down access to mobile networks and have restricted access to Instagram and WhatsApp, CNN reported.
Riot police have deployed tear gas, fired metal pellets and arrested protesters, per CNN.