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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Iran President to Investigate Mahsa Amini’s Death After Continued Protests

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Demonstrations have been going on in Iran for days following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died early last week after she was arrested for allegedly failing to comply with Iranian rules that require a woman to cover her head. Pressured by the ongoing protests, the Iranian president has ordered further investigations into Amini’s death.

Amini was brutally arrested by the vice squad early last week. The police check whether everyone follows the religious rules of the government and arrest women when they do not wear their headscarves (properly), walk in ‘trousers’ or otherwise do not comply with the dress code. This was also the reason for Mahsa’s arrest and therefore she would be taken to an ‘education center’ at the police station.

According to eyewitnesses, however, Amini was not taken to an ‘education center’ after her arrest, but was mistreated in a police van. She was eventually taken to hospital where she later died of ‘sudden heart failure’. According to her family and witnesses, Mahsa went into a coma from blows to her head and had already been declared brain dead on arrival at the hospital.

The death of 22-year-old Amina is causing a stir among the people of Iran. People take to the streets, shouting “women, life, freedom” and women burn their headscarves or cut their hair . At least 17 people have been killed in those protests against the police. According to Amnesty International eyewitnesses , security forces are targeting protesters “unlawfully and repeatedly”.

Footage of the protests has spread to social media, although the internet is now being shut down in many places. Access to apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram will also be limited , making it even more difficult for many Iranians to share what is going on in the country with the outside world.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was in New York this weekend to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Here, many western countries spoke out against him about police brutality in Iran. For example, the United States has announced sanctions against the religious police in Iran. Raisi believes that the West uses a double standard with this. He stated that in the US and the UK many civilians die every year as a result of police brutality. “And have all those dead been examined?”

Raisi emphasizes that freedom of expression also applies in Iran, but that creating chaos is unacceptable. “We have to distinguish between protesters and vandals.” The Iranian authorities warned on Thursday that attending protests is illegal and protesters will be prosecuted.

@doctoryoun Using my platform to spread the words of the women of Iran. #mahsaamini #iran ♬ original sound – Anthony Youn, MD

President Raisi initially reiterated a coroner’s conclusion that Amini was not beaten, but continued protests have prompted further investigation into Mahsa Amini’s death. “I have been in contact with the next of kin and I have assured them that we will investigate the matter thoroughly.”

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