How 16,000 women are brutalised on Iran roads by hijab police

A report of an Iraninan national daily said, Iranian regime, which is now entirely under the authority of radicals, has adopted a harder stance than usual amid the economic catastrophe and hardship Iranian people are facing

Tehran: Custodial death of a 22-year-woman on Friday who had suffered severe head injuries while being in the custody of Iran’s Hijab police has incited nationwide protests by women in Iran against the ‘Moral policing’ of the authorities.

Ever since the news of Mahsa Amini’s hospitalisation from a detention centre in Northern Tehran within two hours of her arrest broke, hundreds of social media posts started appearing with #MahsaAmini and received wide reactions, said reports.

Police however, denied the allegations of woman getting hared in custody.

The deceased, Mahsa Amini, 22, was seen unconscious and bleeding from her right ear in a photo of her lying on a hospital bed. After this, several people including Mahdiar Saeedian, editor of Health Magazine pointed out social media that the reason for her unconscious state is head injury and not a brain stroke because that never causes bleeding from ear.

The young girl, who is originally from Saqqez in the Kurdistan province, was detained by hijab enforcement authorities while riding in her brother’s automobile to visit their family in the capital. Islamic religious police informed her brother that she would be taken to the prison facility for a brief lecture about the Islamic dress code, the hijab, and would be soon freed.

However, she went to hospital after that where she succumbed to head unjuries two days later on Friday. Angry over her death women marched out of their homes to protest against the atrocities they are facing by the moral police.

An international journalist posted a video on Saturday which showed police’s behaviour with the protesting women. His tweet is embedded below:

A report of an Iraninan national daily said, Iranian regime, which is now entirely under the authority of radicals, has adopted a harder stance than usual amid the economic catastrophe and hardship Iranian people are facing.

The report says, nearly 16000 women are being prosecuted in Iran by Hijab enforcement patrols. They detain several women on the streets, sometimes brutally, while government and military authorities have warned the populace against breaking the laws.

In recent months, barbarism of police has become so common that everyday footages of such violent arrests of women and adolescent girls as well as conflicts between bystanders and hijab enforcers are routinely shared online.

Many people on social media have also noted that when George Floyd was killed in the United States as a result of police brutality, Iran’s leader Ali Khamenei labeled it a “brutal” crime that revealed “the actual nature of the authorities of the United States” in a broadcast speech.

“The Islamic Republic never pays the cost of its brutality. Where are those [hardliners] now who lit black candles for George Floyd and made the hashtag ‘I can’t breathe’ trending [in Persian social media]”, one of the tweets that was widely shared asked.

Khamenei has consistently voiced his support for a tight hijab law. He said in a speech in July, that the anti-hijab movement among Iranian women is nothing more than a Western ploy. The speech was delivered ten days after a
28-year-old writer named Sepideh Rashno, a campaigner against the hijab, was detained in Tehran following a run-in with a hijab enforcer on a city bus.

Social media users have also drawn attention to the deaths of other regular citizens and activists while they were in custody, including the doctor and women’s rights activist Zahra Bani-Yaghoub who passed away in prison in 2007 after being detained by the morality police and the Iranian-Canadian environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami and blogger Sattar Beheshti in 2012 and 2018 respectively. Despite overwhelming evidence of violence, Iranian authorities blamed all of these fatalities while in jail on strokes without accepting any culpability for them.

“Sattar Beheshti had a ‘stroke’. Haleh Sahabi had a ‘stroke’. Kavous Seyed-Emami had a ‘stroke’. Nobody gets killed by beating in the Islamic Republic,” a very well-liked tweet stated.

A number of Iranian celebrities have tweeted about the young woman’s awful end on social media, including outspoken former national team soccer player Ali Karimi, who has around 10 million Instagram followers. Due to American actress and novelist Leah Remini’s tweet about the incident, Amini’s case and state violence against Iranian women who wear the hijab have received a lot of attention.

(With inputs from agencies)

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