Update: Iranian women burn headscarves in anti-hijab protests

Mahsa Amini
Mahsa Amini

Female protesters have been at the forefront of escalating protests in Iran and have been burning headscarves, after the death in custody of a woman detained for breaking hijab laws.

Demonstrations have continued for five successive nights, and reached several towns and cities.

Mahsa Amini died in hospital on Friday after spending three days in a coma.

In Sari, north of Tehran, large crowds cheered as women set their hijabs alight in defiant acts of protest.

Ms Amini was arrested in the capital last week by Iran’s morality police, accused of breaking the law requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf, and their arms and legs with loose clothing.

She fell into a coma shortly after collapsing at a detention centre.

There were reports that police beat Ms Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles, Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif said.

The police have denied that she was mistreated and said she suffered “sudden heart failure”. Ms Amini’s family has said she was fit and healthy.

The 22-year-old was from Kurdistan Province in western Iran, where three people were killed on Monday as security forces opened fire on protesters.

A woman stands on top of a car bonnet and sets her headscarf on fire on 19 September 2022 in central Tehran during protests for Mahsa Amini

An aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei paid a visit to Ms Amini’s family on Monday and told them that “all institutions will take action to defend the rights that were violated”, state media reported.

Senior MP Jalal Rashidi Koochi publicly criticised the morality police, saying the force was a “mistake” as it had only produced “loss and damage” for Iran.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s