Anger grows in Iran over the death of a woman after her headscarf

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  • A young woman died in the custody of the morality police
  • Iran sees street protests and anger on social media
  • The government denies that Mahsa Amini was beaten

DUBAI (Reuters) – Protests continued on Sunday and #MahsaAmini became one of the biggest hashtags ever on Twitter in the Persian language, as Iranians were outraged by the death of a young woman in morals police custody for imposing strict hijab rules.

Amini, 22, died on Friday after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran earlier in the week. The case sheds light on women’s rights in Iran.

Police have dismissed suspicions spread on social media that she was beaten, saying that she fell ill while waiting with the other detained women. Read more

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“The authorities said that my daughter suffers from chronic diseases. I personally deny such allegations that my daughter was in good health and had no health problems,” Amini’s father told the pro-reform news website Emtadaq on Sunday.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered around Tehran University and chanted “Woman, life, freedom,” according to online videos.

Reuters was unable to verify the footage.

Under Iranian Islamic law, women are required to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes. Perpetrators face public reprimands, fines, and arrest. But in recent months, activists have urged women to take off the niqab despite a crackdown by hard-line rulers on “immoral behaviour”.

hashtag surgeon

By Sunday afternoon, the Persian hashtag #MahsaAmini had reached 1.63 million mentions on Twitter.

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Amini was from the country’s Kurdistan region, where there were also protests on Saturday, including a funeral in her hometown of Saqqaz.

Between 8 and 10 million Kurds live in Iran. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have suppressed unrest in the country’s Kurdish regions for decades, and a hard-line judiciary has sentenced many activists to long prison terms or death sentences. Read more

The police suppressed the demonstrations in Saqqaz. According to videos posted online, at least one man was hit in the head. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the videos.

Behzad Rahimi, a member of parliament for Saqez, told the semi-official ILNA news agency that a few people were injured at the funeral. “One of them was taken to Saqqaz Hospital after hitting the intestines with balls,” he added.

The Kurdish rights group Hengau said 33 people were injured in Saqqaz. Reuters could not independently confirm the number.

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Reporting from the Dubai Newsroom. Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Frances Kerry

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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