In Iran, protests started after a 22-year-old woman died after being detained by the dreaded morality police of the nation.
After being held in Tehran, the nation’s capital, by police enforcing the nation’s stringent hijab laws, Mahsa Amini slipped into a coma.
Although family members have told local websites that she had no prior history of cardiac issues, police have claimed that she was rushed to the hospital after having a heart attack.
As motorists honked their horns in a Tehran square near the hospital where Ms. Amini passed away, demonstrators could be seen yelling “death to the tyrant” in recent social media posts.
Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, meanwhile, has asked for the cause of the incident to be investigated with “urgency and special attention”, state media has reported.
Ms. Amini was visiting family in Tehran when she was arrested on Tuesday for her “alleged inappropriate hijab”, according to the Centre for Human Rights in Iran.
“Her family was told that she was being taken for ‘re-education’ and would be released later that night,” the organization said.
The hijab – an Islamic headscarf – has been compulsory for women in the Middle East country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and the morality police are known for enforcing the rules zealously.
Since 2017 in particular – when dozens of women publicly took off their headscarves in a wave of protests – the authorities have adopted tougher measures.
But some hope Ms. Amini’s death could be a turning point, with condemnation coming from Iranian celebrities, athletes, and other public figures.
Former pro-reform president Mohammad Khatami said the behavior of the morality police was a “disaster”, while popular former footballer Ali Karimi tweeted that, while children of high-ranking officials were leaving the country, “our children are dying”.
As protests continued in the capital on Saturday morning, police insisted there was no violence toward Ms. Amini while she was in custody and took the unusual step of releasing CCTV footage showing her in a police station with other detainees.
At one point she stands up from a chair, goes to speak to another woman, then holds her head with both hands, stumbles against a chair, and collapses.
In another clip, she is seen being carried away on a stretcher.
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