UN calls for probe into Iranian woman’s death amid protests
A top United Nations (UN) official, on Tuesday, demanded an independent investigation into the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman held by Iran’s morality police as Iranian authorities acknowledged making arrests at protests over the incident.
The U.N. Human Rights Office said that Iran’s morality police have expanded their patrols in recent months, targeting women for not properly wearing the Islamic headscarf, known as Hijab. The U.N. Human Rights Office said that verified videos showed women being slapped on the face and thrown into police vans for wearing the Hijab loosely.
Nada Al-Nashif, the acting U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said, “Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment by the police must be effectively investigated by an independent competent authority.” Al-Nashif also said that there were reports that Amini was beaten on the head with a baton by Iran’s morality police officers.
The woman’s death sparked demonstrations across Iran, including the capital, Tehran. Demonstrators chanted against the government and clashed with the police over the death of the woman.
The United States, which is trying to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, also condemned the woman’s death and called on Iran to end its “systematic persecution” of women. U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said that Amini “should be alive today.” However, Iran dismissed the criticism as politically motivated. Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, rejected the criticism by the U.S. authorities and accused the U.S. of “shedding crocodile tears.”
Amini was buried on Saturday in her home city of Saqez in western Iran. Protests also erupted after her funeral, and police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators. The protests spread to Tehran and other cities on Tuesday.
Human rights groups said that three people were killed during protests on Monday as security forces opened fire at men, women and children.