A 22-year old Kurdish woman passed away after being arrested and beaten by Iran’s morality police on Tuesday over improper wearing of the hijab, the Hengaw organisation reported.
Mahsa Amini (Zhina) from Saqqez city in northwest Iran was in a coma because of brain injuries she suffered at the hands of the morality police (Guidance Patrol), which enforces the Islamic dress code, primarily on women, earlier this week. At the time, she was travelling with her family to Tehran to visit relatives. The young woman died in an intensive care unit at Kasra Hospital in the Iranian capital on Friday.
According to Hengaw, a human rights monitoring organisation, Amini was beaten with a baton by morality police near Haqqani highway in Tehran on Tuesday.
The police later reported that Amini underwent a heart attack, but Amini’s family disputed this and said she was in good health and had no medical problems.
Many people worldwide, including actors, writers, and Iranian football stars and activists, are expressing their outrage on social media platforms.
Robert Malley, the US President’s Special Envoy for Iran, called Amini’s death appalling, adding that Iran must end violence against women exercising their fundamental rights.
Meanwhile, Sharon Kleinbaum, a commissioner on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, called on the US administration to “unreservedly condemn Iran for its violent and systematic attacks on women like Mahsa Amini”.
Actress Leah Remini said the attack on Amini was “unacceptable no matter what, but the fact that she was arrested for the improper wearing of the hijab makes it even more horrifying.”
The news came weeks after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi signed a decree which imposed new restrictions on women’s outfits. Raisi called for stricter enforcement of the country’s mandatory Islamic dress code.
According to the new Hijab and Chastity Law, women who publish their pictures without a hijab on the internet will be deprived of certain social rights for six months to one year.
The hijab, a head-covering worn by Muslim women, became compulsory after Iran’s revolution in 1979. Over the decades, however, women have pushed the boundaries of the stipulated dress code.