Death of woman in Tehran police custody sparks protests across Iran
mostafa_meraji / Pixabay
Death of woman in Tehran police custody sparks protests across Iran

Human rights organizations and foreign authorities Monday criticized Iran’s handling of protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Since Amini’s death in a Tehran hospital on September 16, protests have occurred in major cities throughout the country.

Amini was arrested by the Tehran police on September 14. According to Iranian state news outlet Etemad, she was arrested for wearing an “improper” hijab. Two hours later, Amini’s family discovered she had been taken to the hospital in a coma. After two days, the Tehran police reported that she had died in custody.

People in and outside of Iran have criticized the Tehran police and called for increased police accountability after women throughout the country have experienced abuse and violence at the hands of police.

In a statement published yesterday, Human Rights Watch senior Iran researcher Tara Sepehri Far said, “[a] woman dying after being arrested because of how she was dressed is evidence of outrageous depravity. Conducting a transparent investigation, holding those responsible for Mahsa’s death appropriately accountable, and providing reparations to her family are absolutely necessary.”

Despite the protests being peaceful, Iranian police have used teargas and lethal force to disperse protesters throughout the country. Iran’s treatment of these protests has sparked numerous international calls for peace. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented, “Mahsa Amini should be alive today. Instead, the United States and the Iranian people mourn her. We call on the Iranian government to end its systemic persecution of women and to allow peaceful protest.”

Iranian news agency Fars reported on Tuesday that authorities are investigating Amini’s death.