Amnesty International calls for international action against Iran after death of Mahsa Amini in custody
© WikiMedia Commons (Matt Hrkac)
Amnesty International calls for international action against Iran after death of Mahsa Amini in custody

Amnesty International Tuesday called for immediate international action to ensure accountability the of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death in the custody of Iranian police. The organization requests that Iran repeal the statutory provisions that impose compulsory veiling on women and girls, perpetuate sexual violence, and violate women’s dignity and abolish the morality police that enforce the discriminatory laws.

Amnesty International further said:

The duty to investigate potentially unlawful deaths is an essential part of upholding the right to life. For any death in custody, there is a presumption of state responsibility and the failure to investigate is itself a violation of the right to life. Investigations by authorities must comply with international law and standards and should follow the UN Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death, which provides a common standard of principles and guidelines in investigating potentially unlawful deaths.

On September 13, Amini was arrested and violently beaten in a police van in Tehran by Iran’s morality police (gasht-e ershad) for not complying with compulsory veiling laws. Within hours, she was taken to a Kasra hospital in a coma, and was declared dead on 16 September. Iranian authorities in a press release claimed that Amini suffered a heart attack.

Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday announced sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities, including Iran’s morality police. In a press release, Trudeau said, “Canadians, along with millions of people around the world, want the government of the Iran to listen to its people, end the suppression of their freedom and rights, and allow the women and all people of Iran to continue their lives freely and to comment in peace and tranquillity.”

Mahsa Amini’s death in custody sparked nationwide protests in Iran. Iranian authorities responded to the protests with unlawful force, including the use live ammunition, killed dozens of people and injured hundreds of others. Last year, Amnesty International published research documenting Iranian authorities’ failure to provide accountability for at least 72 deaths in police custody since January 2010.