The demonstrations in the country started on Saturday (17/9) in the Kurdistan province of Iran.
Mahsha Amini, 22, originally from Kurdistan Province, was arrested on September 13 in Tehran which she was visiting with her family, “because she was wearing inappropriate clothes” according to her Ethos Police, a unit responsible for enforcing strict dress codes in the country.
In Iran, women are required to cover their hair when in public. Also, the Ethos Police forbid women to wear, among other things, short coats, above the knee, tight pants and ripped jeans as well as brightly colored clothing.
Amini fell into a coma after the arrest and died on September 16 at the hospital where he had been treated, state television reported.
Activists complain that he was injured in the head while in custody. Iranian police rejected the accusations and launched an investigation.
The death of the young woman has caused a wave of anger in Iran, causing them to erupt demonstrations in Kurdistan, Tehran and other areas of Iran.
Yesterday Tuesday, the governor of Kurdistan, Ismail Kusha, spoke of “three dead” during the protests in different areas of the province without specifying when they were killed.
He called these deaths “suspicious, part of the conspiracy hatched by the enemy.” He also added that one of the victims was killed by a type of weapon not used by Iranian forces.
Macron’s conversation with Raisi
Following the outrage over Amini’s death, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in Kurdistan, Abdulreza Pourzahabi, went to her home on Monday (19/9), Tasnim news agency reported.
The representative told the family that “measures will be taken” and that aAyatollah Khamenei “regrets” her death. “As already promised to Amini’s family, I will follow the case until the end,” he emphasized.
For her part, the acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada al-Nassif, expressed her “concern about the death in custody of Mahsha Amini (…) and the violent reaction of the security forces to the protests” and called for “impartial” and “independent” research.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly UN in New York the French president Emmanuel Macron he said after a conversation with Iranian President Ebrahim Raishi that he “insisted on respecting women’s rights” in Iran.
At the same time, Iranian dissidents and former prisoners announced yesterday from New York that they filed a lawsuit against Raisi, who will speak before the UN General Assembly today.
The lawsuit, which has yet to be released by federal court in Manhattan, targets the Iranian president for his role in Iran during the 1980s when thousands of people were sentenced to death, according to the National League for Democracy in Iran.
Abolition of the Moral Police
Amini’s death also drew criticism from high-ranking Iranian officials against the Ethos Police, known as the Ghast-e-Ershad, or “orientation patrol”.
In parliament, MP Jalal Rashidi Kouchi estimated that the Moral Police “caused damage to the country”.
“In order to prevent such incidents from happening again, the methods used by the orientation patrols (…) must be reviewed,” said the speaker of the parliament, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.
Another MP went so far as to suggest abolishing the morality police.
“I believe that due to the ineffectiveness of Gast-e-Ershad to pass the culture of hijab, this unit should be abolished so that the children of this country will not be afraid when they meet it,” said Moinodin Saidi.
For the Organization for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Corruption, an organization linked to the Iranian state, “we must stop arresting and extraditing people who don’t wear the headscarf properly because it results in exacerbating social tensions. The law needs to be amended to make it just a misdemeanor.”