Iran: Protests after woman 'arrested' over 'improper hijab' dies
Widespread protests were held in Iran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the country's "Morality Police" for "improperly" wearing the hijab. Several women protesters were seen publicly removing and burning their hijabs. Some of them even chopped their hair off in protest. Rejecting allegations that Amini was beaten, the police claimed she fell ill while waiting with other detainees.
Why does this story matter?
- Iran has been facing severe criticism over its strict moral policing toward women, including enforcing the hijab and chastity law.
- Iranian rights activists urged women to publicly remove hijabs in recent months to protest the alleged repression by the authorities.
- Meanwhile, fresh restrictions on women's dressing were enforced after President Ebrahim Raisi signed a decree to implement the hijab and chastity law last month.
Anti-government protests held across Iran
According to reports, demonstrations were held across Iran, with protesters shouting anti-government slogans following Amini's burial on Saturday. Protest videos have also gone viral, with some showing government forces using tear gas to disperse crowds. Some protesting women were also seen cutting their hair and torching their hijabs in a symbolic show of defiance against Iran's harsh rules that mandate women to wear hijabs.
Watch: Videos of the symbolic protest shared on Twitter
Iranian women show their anger by cutting their hair and burning their hijab to protest against the killing of #Mahsa_Amini by hijab police.— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 18, 2022
From the age of 7 if we don’t cover our hair we won’t be able to go to school or get a job. We are fed up with this gender apartheid regime pic.twitter.com/nqNSYL8dUb
Iranian forces accused of opening fire
Meanwhile, the Iranian security forces were also accused of opening fire on the protesters. "This is the real Iran, Security forces in Iran's Saqqez opened fire at peaceful protesters following the burial of #Mahsa_Amini. Several protesters have been injured. First Hijab police killed a...girl and now using guns and tear gas against grieving people," wrote journalist-activist Masih Alinejad on Twitter while sharing a video.
Video of alleged police action against protesters
This is the real Iran, Security forces in Iran’s Saqqez opened fire at peaceful protesters following the burial of #Mahsa_Amini.— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 17, 2022
Several protesters have been injured.
First Hijab police killed a 22 Yr old girl and now using guns and tear gas against grieving people.#مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/IgUdFEnJCS
What do we know about Amini's death?
On Wednesday, Amini was arrested by Tehran's Morality Police—when she was with her brother—near a metro station over "improper" hijab, reported Iranian publication Etemad. Her brother—waiting outside the police headquarters—learned hours later that she was rushed to the hospital in a coma. The police claimed Amini suffered a cardiac seizure in custody and denied claims that she was beaten. She later died on Friday.