What Happened to Mahsa Amini?

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Days ago in Iran, New York and Berlin, there were massive protests against the Iranian government and the presence of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the United Nations. Across Tehran and cities in the Kurdistan Region, people took to the streets in violent clashes that left an estimated 221 people injured, 250 arrested, and At least 9 deaths, according to ABC.

The catalyst is the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman. Here’s what we know about what happened to her.

First: Who is Mahsa Amini?

On September 13, Mahsa Amini (originally from Saqqaz city in the Kurdistan region of western Iran) was in Tehran, having traveled there to visit her family. She was at the entrance to the Haqqani Highway with her brother Kiarash Amini when she was arrested by the regime’s so-called “Guidance Patrol” and taken to the “Moral Security Agency” for allegedly wearing an inappropriate headscarf. CCTV videos of the event – later released by Tehran police – showed her falling to the ground at the moment of her arrest.

Amini’s brother was told she would be transferred to a detention center for a “briefing class” and was released shortly thereafter. But she never did. Instead, Amini arrived at Al Kasra Hospital, where she died on Friday after falling into a coma for three days.

In a now-deleted Instagram post, the hospital claimed she was brain dead upon arrival. “The patient was resuscitated, the heartbeat was restored, and the patient was admitted to the intensive care unit,” they originally wrote. Watchman. He added, “Unfortunately, 48 hours after Friday, the patient suffered a cardiac arrest again due to brain death. Despite the efforts of the medical team, they failed to revive her and the patient died.”

Eyewitnesses claim that she was beaten by the patrol In the truck she was going to take to a detention center.

Stephanie KeithGetty Images

What happened since then?

As soon as news of Amini’s death came out, days of protests began across the country and globally, thanks in part to Already disputed Ibrahim Raeisi will attend the United Nations this week. The hashtag #ahsaamini started popping up on Twitter, with over two million mentions; Pro-reform and feminist activist groups – including the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency – began mobilizing. Yesterday’s protests resulted in the death of a member of Parliament police And now burning on a large scale hijab And the hair cut. Amnesty International in Iran, as well as the US and French governments, have spoken out against her death.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs He called for an impartial and transparent investigation into her death, describing it as an “extremely horrific” event. White House “Mahsa Amini’s death after being injured while in police custody for wearing an ‘inappropriate’ veil represents a horrific and scandalous front for human rights,” she said.

Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Rahimi, claimed that Amini’s death was an “unfortunate accident”, saying she had a heart attack due to current conditions. But Amini’s father vehemently disputed the allegations, saying he believed he had received heavily edited TV footage that contradicts her traumatic and eyewitness accounts, telling the reformist Iranian Roydad 24 Newspaper: They said Mahsa had heart disease and epilepsy but as the father who took care of her for 22 years I say out loud that Mahsa had no disease. She was in good health. The person who hit my daughter should be tried before a public court, not a spurious trial that leads to reprimand and expulsion.”

Iraqi and Iranian Kurds, residing in northern Iraq, march near a park in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah on September 19, 2022, against the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman in Iran who died after being arrested by the morality police of the Islamic Republics Amini, 22, was on a visit with Her family returned to the Iranian capital when she was arrested on September 13 by the police unit responsible for enforcing Iran's strict dress code for women, including wearing the headscarf in public. Her death was announced on September 16 by state television after spending three days in a coma. Shawan Muhammad FB Photo by Shawan Muhammad via Getty Images

Demonstrations after the death of Mahsa Amini

Shawan MuhammedGetty Images

What is the status of women in Iran?

The truth is that Amini’s death was just a match for an existing powder keg. By law since 1979, women in Iran are required to wear a headscarf in public, but in practice, this has not been strictly enforced. That is, until new president Ibrahim Raisi took power in 2021. Since then, there has been a massive crackdown on women’s freedoms in Iran. On August 15, he signed an order mandating the country’s dress code with a new list of restrictions.

Article 638 of the Islamic Penal Code It says it is a crime for a woman to appear on the streets and in public without an Islamic headscarf, but it is not clear whether the police have the arbitrary right to detain citizens under this law without any form of court order. In fact, the actions of the so-called “morality police” have been heavily criticized by United Nations Human Rights Office, which says police were targeting women and says it has verified videos of women being slapped in the face, beaten with batons and thrown into police trucks just for wearing their headscarves too loosely. They have also been criticized before Two senior ayatollahs in Iran.

Amini isn’t the most well-known case of recent months – though it is the most famous death. In July, a 28-year-old writer and artist Rachno will kill him They were arrested for wearing “indecent clothes” and were one of many women (and men) who publicly protested Iran’s “Hijab and Chastity Day” on July 12 by taking off their headscarves on social media. Then Rachno was seen on state television offering an official apology. She was wearing a full veil and looked dim. Human rights organizations, including HRANA, say she showed signs of torture and was likely one of the many women forced to confess. Rachno remains in detention, and her case sparked widespread protests and campaigns in August.

Now, Amini’s death may be the last straw, as widespread and violent protests against the regime continue. the acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human RightsNada Al-Nashef said: “An immediate, impartial and effective investigation into the death of Mahsa Amini and the allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be carried out by an independent competent authority, which, in particular, will ensure that her family has access to justice and the truth.”

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