JERUSALEM, Israel – Unrest erupted in Iran’s capital on Monday to protest the death of a woman who died in custody after she was arrested for violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code.
Students at several universities in Tehran took to the streets and called for an investigation into the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who died after she was detained by Iran’s so-called “morality police” for not covering her hair with the Islamic head covering called the “hijab.”
Demonstrators filled the streets chanting “Death to the Dictator” while others lit trash cans on fire and chanted against the police. Amateur video online shows men and women filling the streets in Iran’s western Kurdish cities, with some women ripping off their hijabs and calling for justice.
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
A Kurdish activist group called the Hengaw Human Rights Organization said Iranian security forces killed five protestors in the Kurdish cities, injured dozens, and made at least 250 arrests. CBN News could not independently verify the organization’s claims.
— Hengaw Organization for Human Rights (@Hengaw_English) September 19, 2022
The Iranian dissident Masih Alinejad, who now lives in the US and criticizes Iran’s compulsory hijab policy, posted video on Twitter of Iranian men and women burning the garment.
This video brought tears to my eyes.
Women & men burning compulsory hijab in the streets of Tehran where #MahsaAmini was beaten up to death by hijab police.
The woman who took the video says; our dream comes true Finally we are burning the symbol of our oppression in the street. pic.twitter.com/P9WYBixKw4
— Masih Alinejad (@AlinejadMasih) September 19, 2022
Iran’s morality police detained Amini last Tuesday. Iranian police say she died of a heart attack and denied mistreating her. Iranian authorities also released closed-circuit footage purporting to show Amini collapsing from a medical emergency.
Amini’s family told the semiofficial Fars news agency that she was “in perfect health” and claimed the footage released by Iranian security forces was edited.
Amini, who was Kurdish, was buried in her hometown of Saquez on Saturday. Police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators on Saturday and Sunday who say she was murdered.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ordered an investigation into Amini’s case before departing to New York for the UN General Assembly this week. Iran’s judiciary has opened an investigation into the incident, along with a parliamentary committee.
The hijab became compulsory for women in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Critics say Iran’s morality police regularly harass women who don’t follow the country’s modesty requirements.
In 2017, dozens of Iranian women protested the hijab by publicly removing the garment.
Iran has also been rocked by protests over the country’s poor economy, which has been exacerbated by strict western sanctions in response to Iran’s nuclear program.