The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died on Friday after being detained by the morality police, is being protested across the country. Kurdpa news agency reported that at least two people lost their lives and about 10 were injured in the protests.
The death of Amini, who was detained on the grounds that she did not comply with the headscarf rules, sparked nationwide protests and reactions on social media.
Protests were held in Tehran at the call of women’s rights defenders and students.
It was reported that many women took off their headscarves and chanted “Death to the dictator” and “Death to the Islamic Republic”.
Those in the area shared that the police fired tear gas at the protesters and tried to disperse the crowd with batons.
The Tehran Police Chief described Amini’s death as “an unfortunate event that cannot be repeated”.
It was alleged that after Amini was detained, she was beaten and tortured by the morality police, resulting in a coma.
Police, on the other hand, claimed that Amini was rushed to the hospital on September 13 at the moral police station in Tehran after suddenly suffering from a heart condition.
Protests were held at the funeral of Amini, who died on Friday, in the city of Sakkız, which took place at the weekend, with slogans of “Death to the dictator”.
This slogan targets the repressive policies of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in terms of strict enforcement of hijab rules.
In addition to the city of Sakkız, where Kurds live in Iran, protests were also held in Senendec.
However, Chief of Police Brigadier General Hüseyin Rahimi described the torture allegations as “cowardly” and claimed that Amini had not been harmed physically.
“We will wait until the day of decision, but we cannot stop performing security duties,” Rahimi said, according to the conservative Fars News Agency.
An ancient belief turned into a representation of anger.
On September 18, a video seen on social media showed angry people marching and chanting “Women, life and freedom” in Kurdish.
In some images, women took off their headscarves and joined the march.
Images of security guards shooting at protesters were also shared on social media.
Videos of women cutting their hair went viral on social media, as well as women taking off their headscarves on the streets of Iran, marching or burning their headscarves.
Actress Anahita Hemti shared a video of her cutting her hair on Instagram, expressing that cutting hair is a part of the mourning process according to some beliefs in Iran.
While in some Iranian legends, women’s haircuts are described as a part of the mourning process, this belief has turned into a representation of anger after Amini’s death.
Iranian actors Ketayoun Riahi and Shabnam Farshadjo were also seen taking off their headscarves in protest.
Kurdish politicians call for strike
Some Kurdish political parties and opposition groups called for strikes, while some businesses announced they would close their shutters on Monday.
Iranian President Ibrahim Reisi called Amini’s family to express his condolences and said that he had ordered the matter to be investigated in detail.
In a statement to the Hammihan newspaper, Amini’s father denied that his daughter had ailments such as epilepsy, diabetes and a brain tumor, contrary to the claims of pro-regime publications.
Drawing attention to what happened at the police station, “What happened inside the corridors?” posed the question.
Opposition politicians and celebrities joined the calls to dismiss the moral police.
There has long been a backlash against the headscarf ban and the practices of the morality police in Iran.