The death of a young woman in police custody in Iran has generated widespread outrage and protest. Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iranian police for breaching the country’s rigorous dress code by wearing her hijab too loosely. Here’s what’s going on in Iran right now:
The arrest, torture, and death of a young woman
According to Amnesty International, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, was arrested in Tehran on September 13, 2022, by the country’s so-called morality police. “Amini was violently beaten while being forcibly transferred to Vozara detention center in Tehran,” according to eyewitnesses. She fell into a coma after a few hours and died three days later.
Iranian women are burning their hijabs
The Iranian government claimed to be conducting an investigation into Amini’s death while denying any culpability. Girls and women who violate Iran’s draconian veil legislation are often detained, arrested, humiliated, and tortured by the authorities. Images and videos from Iran depict enormous crowd rallies, with some women removing and burning their hijabs in protest of the government’s law.
Iran suffers a digital outage
On Wednesday, Iranians were subjected to a near-total internet shutdown as unconfirmed reports continued to flood social media, including stunning footage of police shooting tear gas at protesters, arresting and murdering seven of them to date. The protests were spurred by the Iranian government’s supposed inquiry into Amini’s death while denying any responsibility.
Iran’s president addressed the UN
On the fifth day of protests, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the United Nations General Assembly and attempted to deflect criticism by declaring, “The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects some of the double standards of some governments with regard to human rights.”
This wave of protests follows persistent instability
Since May, Iranians have protested the government’s inaction in the face of rising prices and a continuing economic crisis. In response to protests and labor strikes, the government jailed notable labor union organizers, academics, and teachers.