Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Iran: Three killed, 22 arrested in protest over death of woman in police custody

22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested and allegedly tortured to death by Iran’s morality police for “unsuitable attire”.

• September 20, 2022
Mahsa Amini
Mahsa Amini ‘[Photo Credit: Al Arabiya]

At least three persons were killed during demonstrations ignited by the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

Reuters could not independently verify the report, and there was no official confirmation of the fatalities.

But human rights group Hengaw said the three people were killed on Monday when security forces opened fire.

The protests spread on Monday, with the most intense in the Kurdish region.

Governor of Tehran, Mohsen Mansouri, also accused protesters of attacking police and destroying public property during demonstrations ignited by the death of a young woman.

Mr Mansouri, in a post on Twitter on Tuesday, said: “the main elements of the gatherings in Tehran were fully organised, trained and planned to create disturbances in Tehran”.

He added, “burning the flag, pouring diesel on the roads, throwing stones, attacking the police, setting fire to motorcycles and garbage cans, destroying public property, etc. are not the work of ordinary people.’’

However, the deputy police commander said in the northern province of Gilan that police arrested 22 people for destroying public property.

Ms Amini, a 22-year-old from Iran’s Kurdistan province, fell into a coma and died following her arrest in Tehran last week by the morality police for “unsuitable attire,” sparking nationwide anger and demonstrations in numerous areas, including the capital.

In the nationwide condemnations of Ms Amini’s death, videos posted on social media showed demonstrations in numerous cities, with women waving their headscarves and protesters facing off with security forces.

Reuters had been unable to verify the videos.

A video from Tehran showed police cars with windows smashed as a nearby security forces’ vehicle fired water cannon toward protesters.

The police had said Ms Amini fell ill as she waited with other women held by the morality police, who enforced strict rules in the Islamic republic, requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes in public.

But her father had repeatedly said his daughter had no health problems, adding that she had suffered bruises on her legs. He held the police responsible for her death.

In the Kurdish region, the rights organisation Hengaw said there were protests in 13 cities on Monday and that 250 people had been arrested.

Hengaw gave the names of three people who had been killed during protests in three different cities, including Amini’s hometown of Saqez.

Hengaw said a person previously identified as dead was, in fact, wounded.

The United States on Monday demanded accountability, saying Amini died “after injuries sustained while in police custody for wearing an ‘improper’ hijab”. France also condemned her arrest “and the violence that caused her death”.

(Reuters/NAN)

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