Iranians protest over woman's death in police custody

i24NEWS - Reuters

3 min read
Mahsa Amini
IranHumanRights / TwitterMahsa Amini

Videos show protesters chanting 'Death to the dictator,' referring to the country’s Supreme Leader

Protesters shouting anti-government slogans gathered on Saturday in the Iranian town of Saqez, where the funeral of Mahsa Amini, who died after being arrested by morality police, was held. 

Videos circulating on social media showed demonstrators chanting “Death to the dictator," referring to the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Other videos showed marchers setting tires on fire and throwing rocks at police officers, who were seen firing tear gas to disperse protesters.

The 22-year-old Amini passed away in a hospital in Tehran on Friday. She was detained when she was visiting her family in the Iranian capital by the police unit responsible for enforcing the Islamic republic's strict dress code for women, which includes the compulsory wearing of hijab in public. 

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Amini fell into a coma and later died. Police said the woman suffered a heart attack after being taken to the station to be "educated."

However, Amini’s relatives denied she had any heart problems and suggested she was beaten by the police officers.

While Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli claimed there was no evidence of violence against the woman, authorities launched probes into her death, saying that forensic tests may take three weeks. 

Amini’s death sparked anger in western Iran with people coming to mourn Amini from neighboring cities of the Kurdistan province. Women took off their headscarves in protest against strict hijab rules that were imposed after the 1979 revolution under Iran's sharia, or Islamic law. 

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