Sunday, September 18, 2022

Iranians Protest Morality Police Killing

 Protests have broken out at the funeral of a woman who died after being arrested by Iran's morality police. The funeral took place in Ms Amini's hometown, Saqez, in the western province of Kurdistan.

Mahsa Amini, 22, died on Friday, days after eyewitnesses said she was beaten in a police van in Tehran. Ms Amini was arrested on Tuesday by the morality police for allegedly not complying with the strict dress code on head coverings. According to eyewitnesses, she was beaten while inside a police van and slipped into a coma later. Kasra Hospital in Northern Tehran said in a statement that Ms Amini was admitted on 13 September showing "no vital signs". The statement was later removed from the hospital's social media after hardline social media accounts accused hospital staff of being "anti-regime agents".

Some women at the ceremony reportedly removed their headscarves in protest at the compulsory wearing of hijabs.

Mourners chanted "death to the dictator", with videos showing police later firing on a crowd.  Locals had gathered very early in the morning to prevent Iranian security forces from rushing through the burial in secret to avoid protests. Some angry protesters marched toward the local governor's office to protest the death. The security forces opened fire on protesters. There were injuries and arrests. 

 Netblocks, a watchdog organization that monitors cybersecurity and internet governance, the internet connection has been disrupted in various locations in Iran since news of Ms Amini's death came out, including in the capital, Tehran, and Saqez. Many users said they could not upload videos on Instagram or send content over WhatsApp. Iranian state-controlled Sharq newspaper reported that Tehran's very low internet speed disrupted the stock market on Saturday.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, women have been legally required to wear modest "Islamic" clothing. In practice, this means women must wear a chador, a full-body cloak, or a headscarf and a manteau (overcoat) that covers their arms. In recent years, Iran has seen several campaigns against the compulsory hijab, but a crackdown by Iran's morality police on women accused of not complying with the dress code has caused opponents of the policy to call for action.

A picture of Ms Amini's gravestone was published on social media. 

It reads: "You didn't die. Your name will be a code [rallying call]."

Mahsa Amini: Women take headscarves off in protest at funeral - BBC News

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