Iran: US demands accountability for death of women after hijab arrest
'Iran must end its use of violence against women for exercising their fundamental freedoms'
Iranian police said Monday the death of a young woman in custody was an “unfortunate incident” and denied accusations of mistreatment that fueled the third day of protests, while the United States called for accountability.
Mahsa Amini, 22, fell into a coma and died following her arrest in Tehran last week by the morality police, sparking demonstrations in the capital city and the Kurdistan province from which she came.
"Mahsa Amini’s death after injuries sustained while in police custody for wearing an 'improper' hijab is an appalling and egregious affront to human rights," a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said.
Her death was condemned nationwide, with the Persian hashtag #MahsaAmini reaching nearly two million Twitter mentions. The most intense protests are in Iranian Kurdistan, where authorities have previously put down unrest among minority Kurds.
"Women in Iran should have the right to wear what they want, free from violence or harassment,” the US official continued.
“Iran must end its use of violence against women for exercising their fundamental freedoms. There must be accountability for Mahsa’s death."
On Monday, protestors threw rocks at security forces in the town of Divandarreh in the Kurdish region, a video posted on Twitter by Kurdish rights group Hengaw showed.
Police said Amini fell ill as she waited with other women being held by the morality police, who enforce strict rules imposed since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes in public.
"This incident was unfortunate for us and we wish to never witness such incidents," said Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi.