Who is Masha Amini whose death caused a wave of protests in Iran?

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Amini was detained by Iranian police in Tehran on Tuesday (13/9/2022), and died on Friday (16/9/2022) after being in a coma.

WHO IS MASHA AMINI?

According to various sources, Masha Amini, also known as Jina, is a 22-year-old woman from the western city of Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, Iran. Iran’s moral police arrested her outside a metro station in Tehran for not wearing the proper hijab.

Before the incident, Amini was reportedly traveling with her family to the Iranian capital to visit relatives. Following the arrest, witnesses said that Amini was beaten by police in the car.

Witnesses also mentioned that Amini was beaten by police while being taken to the detention center, leaving the girl with serious injuries. Amini later died in hospital after three days in a coma.

WHY DID THE MORAL POLICE IN IRAN DETAIN AMINI?

Iranian officials said Amini was detained for violating the country’s laws. Iran requires women to cover their hair with a headscarf and wear loose-fitting clothing.

The rules are enshrined in law and have been in place since 1981, but enforcement is often arbitrary. Meanwhile, Amini’s mother said her daughter wore a long, loose robe according to the rules.

IRAN CLAIMS AMINI’S DEATH WAS DUE TO HEART ATTACK

In a statement by Iranian security forces, Masha Amini was claimed to have died of a heart attack. In fact, the family has denied this claim and said Amini was in good health when she was detained.

Police called Amini’s death an “unfortunate incident” and denied physically harming Amini while in custody.

“The incident is very unfortunate for us and we want to never witness such incidents,” said Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi in a press conference Monday (19/9/2022).

A WAVE OF PROTESTS FROM THE COMMUNITY

Protests broke out outside the Iranian consulates in Istanbul and Tehran and the surrounding region. In the Iranian city of Kerman, where women are required to wear the hijab, many took to the streets to protest Masha Amini’s death.

Elsewhere, some women were seen burning their headscarves while chanting “Women, life, freedom”.

“In Gonbad Kavous, Golestan province, women burned their headscarves on bonfires as protesters chanted “don’t be afraid, we are all together”,” wrote the Twitter account, @Shayan86 on Thursday (22/9/2022).

In addition, the wave of protests against Masha Amini’s death also claimed lives. Five people were reportedly killed after Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters in the Kurdusran region.

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