Iran Women Burn Hijab In Protest Against Death Of Mahsa Amini, Clampdown On Demonstrators

Women in Iran have taken to streets to protest against the death of a woman who was detained for breaking Hijab laws, reported news agency IANS quoting media reports. Videos on social media show women burning their hijabs — with crowds cheering on them — and chasing away riot police across various cities of Iran. 

A 22 year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini from the north-western city of Saqez died in hospital on Friday after being in coma for three days. 

She was with her brother in Tehran when she was arrested by morality police, who accused her of breaking the law requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf, and their arms and legs with loose clothing. She fell into a coma shortly after collapsing at a detention centre.

As per a report by BBC, the police hit Amini on head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles, acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif said. 

In the city of Sari, women torched their hijabs in a bonfire on Tuesday, the fifth successive day of the unrest in the country. 

Watch the video here: 

Activists have claimed that three protestors were shot dead by the security forces  Urmia, Piranshahr and Kermanshah. The authorities accused protesters of killing two civilians in Kermanshah as well as a police assistant in Shiraz, the BBC report said.

At least seven people are now reported to have been killed since the protests against the hijab laws and morality police erupted after Mahsa Amini’s death.

While the protests against Amin’s death continued, the police have denied the allegations of custodial torture and said she suffered “sudden heart failure”, contrary to her family’s claim who has said she was fit and healthy.

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“Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority, that ensures, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth,” Nashif said.

She noted that the UN had received “numerous, and verified, videos of violent treatment of women” as morality police expanded their street patrols in recent months to crack down on those perceived to be wearing “loose hijab”, BBC reported.

One of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s aides had paid a visit to Amini’s family on Monday and told them that “all institutions will take action to defend the rights that were violated”, state media reported.