Iranian police fire tear gas during protest against death in custody

Iranian police fire tear gas during protest against death in custody
Iranian police fire tear gas during protest against death in custody

Tehran, Iran — Iranian police fired tear gas to break up a protest in the western, mostly Kurdish town of Sanandaj, where hundreds of people gathered to denounce the death of a young woman while she was in police custody in Tehran last week, according to reports.

The case of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was arrested last Tuesday after Iran’s so-called “morals police” criticized her headscarf, or hijab, has sparked public outcry in the country, mostly on social media. Police said she died of a heart attack and denied any allegations of torture or abuse.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported late on Sunday that police also arrested several people among about 500 protesters who gathered in Azadi Square in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province, on Sunday.

Fars said protesters smashed car windows and set street trash cans on fire. The agency’s website released a brief video showing dozens of men and women protesting, saying the police explanation for Amini’s death was “unreasonable”.

Amini, who was Kurdish, was buried on Saturday in her hometown of Saqez, also in western Iran. Demonstrations erupted there after his funeral and police also fired tear gas to disperse protesters.

After Amini’s death, police also released CCTV footage from the police station last week, which they say shows the moment Amini collapsed. A relative said she had no history of heart disease.

Iranian justice has opened an investigation into the case.

Headscarves have been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and members of the vice police enforce a strict dress code. The force has come under fire in recent years for its treatment of people, especially young women.

Since 2017, after dozens of women publicly removed their headscarves during a wave of protests, authorities have adopted tougher measures.

. iranian police shoot from tear gas during dune protest against death detention

NEXT Average gasoline price rises for 29th straight day in LA County, hits record high in Orange County