Several women hit the streets in Western Iran Saturday and took off their hijabs as a mark of protest over the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who was reportedly arrested and beaten up by the country’s police for not properly following hijab regulations.
Viral social media videos showed women protestors removing their hijabs, a punishable crime in Iran, and chanting ‘Death to Dictator’ during the protests in Amini’s hometown Saghez.
Women of Iran-Saghez removed their headscarves in protest against the murder of Mahsa Amini 22 Yr old woman by hijab police and chanting:
death to dictator!
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 17, 2022
Amini was reportedly travelling to Iran’s capital Tehran from the western province of Kurdistan with her family to meet relatives when she was arrested for allegedly flouting the dress code for women.
Witnesses have revealed that Amini was beaten inside a police van which the country’s police have denied. However, hours after her arrest, Amini’s family was notified that she had been taken down to the Kasra hospital where she was moved to an intensive-care unit. The police said that she suffered a heart attack, a claim the family has strongly opposed saying that she was healthy until she was arrested.
Iran is witnessing a second night of street protests after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in custody of morality police.
In Sanandaj, capital of Kurdistan province, protesters march down the city’s Ferdowsi Street (35.3129354,46.9979095)pic.twitter.com/aEJediaD79
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 17, 2022
The Guardian reported, that Iranian human rights organisation Hrana said that Amini’s family had been told that she would be released after a “re-education session”.
The incident took place weeks after Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s hardliner president, ordered stricter enforcement of the women’s dress code including wearing a hijab at all times. He also stipulated harsher punishments for the violations of the same.
A protest is commencing now despite heavy police presence outside Tehran’s Kasra Hospital where #MahsaAmini died earlier today.
Iran’s so-called “morality police” beat & arbitrarily arrested her 3 days ago while enforcing the regime’s discriminatory forced veiling laws. pic.twitter.com/HHmlFqhuV9
— M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) September 16, 2022
Many viral videos showed protestors confronting the riot police who resorted to using tear gas on the rioters. In some videos, shots being fired can be heard at protest sites.
Protests continue in #Iran #sanandaj through the night following death/murder of 22 years old #Mahsa_Amini
Shots from Security forces can be heard in the background #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/a5C0RKxXYv
— mina bai (@bai_mina) September 17, 2022
The Iranian government has launched a probe into the matter. However, the police released a video claiming their version of the story to be true.