Rage in Iran after young woman dies in custody, protestors killed

Iran protest screen grab.

Iran has been reeling ever since a young woman died after being arrested by the country’s “morality police” on September 13. The woman, 22 year old Mahsa Amini, was arrested while on holiday with her family, who had travelled to the capital of Tehran from their home in the Kurdistan region. Morality police arrested her for supposedly not wearing her hijab properly.

According to the United Nations OHCHR, there are reports that Mahsa was beaten on the head with a baton, and her head was banged against a vehicle. Iranian authorities have stated that she died of natural causes.

Now, enraged protestors have taken to Iran’s streets to demand an end to Iran’s compulsory hijab laws. A video on Twitter shows protestors tearing down a billboard sign with Supreme Leader Khamenei’s face.

Other videos show women chanting, “No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality!”

Nine protestors have been reportedly killed. One of the deaths was a 16 year old boy who was shot dead.

Iran severely restricts women’s rights in many ways and has done so ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The country still maintains a dress code requiring women to cover their arms and legs, and wear headscarves.

It’s illegal in Iran for women to voluntarily sterilise themselves since the government wants to promote “traditional” families. Women cannot leave the country without their husbands’ permission. Several activists who have spoken out for women’s rights in Iran have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed by the government.

Mahsa’s brutal death is the latest of many deaths of women under an authoritarian, theocratic government.

SOURCE: United Nations | BBC

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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