What happened to Mahsa Amini?

  • In World
  • 2022-09-26 21:30:07Z
  • By The Hill

Protests have erupted across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian who died in police custody earlier this month.

Amini was arrested for improperly wearing her hijab in violation of Iran's strict dress codes for women in public.

According to a United Nations report, Amini collapsed at a detention center after spending three days in custody of Iran's morality police, and then died after being transferred to a hospital. The report said Amini was "severely beaten" by Iranian authorities during her detention.

Iranian officials have said that Amini died of a heart attack.

U.N. human rights experts have called on Iranian authorities to conduct an "independent, impartial, and prompt" probe into Amini's death, publicly release the findings and hold perpetrators accountable.

Amini's death has spurred thousands to take to the streets in protests demanding accountability for her death and an end to violence and discrimination toward women in the country.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it has summoned its British ambassador in protest of the "hostile propaganda" pushed by London-based media outlets, which it accused of "spreading the unrest in the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Women at the protests and on social media have burned their hijabs in protest of Iranian government policies.

The uptick in demonstrations has led Iranian authorities to use pellet guns, tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the crowds. The clashes between protesters and police have resulted in the deaths of seventeen people, according to reports, although other media outlets have reported higher totals.

Amini's death has also garnered international attention, with countries including the U.S. condemning Iran for its treatment of women and the tactics its security forces have used to disperse demonstrators.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced sanctions last week on Iran's morality police and senior security officials who have engaged in human rights abuses in responding to the protests.

"Mahsa Amini was a courageous woman whose death in Morality Police custody was yet another act of brutality by the Iranian regime's security forces against its own people," Yellen said in her statement.

"We condemn this unconscionable act in the strongest terms and call on the Iranian government to end its violence against women and its ongoing violent crackdown on free expression and assembly."

"The Iranian government needs to end its systemic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a separate statement. "The United States will continue to voice our support for human rights in Iran and hold those who violate them to account."

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