#MahsaAmini: Outrage grows in Iran after vice police arrest woman for days in police custody

Protests persisted on Sunday and #MahsaAmini became one of the best ever hashtags on Twitter in Persian as Iranians fumed over the death of a young woman in the custody of morality police enforcing strict rules on the hijab.
Ms Amini, 22, died on Friday after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran earlier in the week. The case shed light on women’s rights in Iran.
Police have dismissed suspicions circulating on social media that she was beaten, saying she fell ill while waiting with other female detainees.

“Authorities said my daughter suffered from chronic illnesses. I personally deny these claims as my daughter was in good shape and had no health problems,” Ms Amini’s father told the pro-reform news site on Sunday. Emtedad.

Hundreds of protesters gathered around Tehran University on Sunday, shouting “Woman, life, freedom”, according to online videos.
Reuters could not verify the images.

Under Iranian Sharia, or Islamic law, women are required to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing. Violators face public reprimands, fines or arrest. But in recent months activists have urged women to remove the veil despite radical leaders’ crackdown on “immoral behaviour”.

surging hashtag

By Sunday afternoon, the Persian hashtag #MahsaAmini had reached 1.63 million mentions on Twitter.
Amini was from the Kurdistan region of the country, where protests also took place on Saturday, including at the funeral in his hometown of Saqez.

Between 8 and 10 million Kurds live in Iran. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have suppressed unrest in the country’s Kurdish regions for decades, and the radical justice system has sentenced many activists to long prison terms or death.

Police cracked down on protests in Saqez. According to videos posted online, at least one man suffered head injuries. Reuters could not authenticate the videos.
Behzad Rahimi, MP for Saqez, told semi-official ILNA news agency that a few people were injured during the funeral. “One of them was taken to Saqez Hospital after being hit in the intestines by ball bearings,” he said.

Kurdish rights group Hengaw, however, said 33 people were injured in Saqez. Reuters could not independently confirm the number.