Repression in Iran after the death of a woman killed by the morality police worries the UN
Protests have been on the rise in Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini.
The United Nations and NGOs on Tuesday expressed concern over Iranian authorities' “violent reaction” to demonstrations protesting the death of a young woman after she was arrested by vice squads, during which at least three people were killed.
Mahsa Amini, 22, from the Kurdistan region (northwest), was arrested on September 13 in Tehran for wearing inappropriate clothes by the morality police, a unit responsible for enforcing the strict dress code of the Islamic Republic of Iran for women.
The young woman was visiting her family in the Iranian capital. She fell into a coma after her arrest and died Sept. 16 in hospital, according to state television and her family.
Activists say she suffered a head injury while in custody. This has not been confirmed by Iranian authorities who have opened an investigation.
In Iran, covering your hair is compulsory in public. The morality police further prohibit women from wearing short coats above the knee, tight pants and jeans with holes as well as brightly colored outfits, among other things.
The death of the young woman sparked a wave of anger in Iran and condemnation around the world.
These demonstrations are among the largest in Iran since those of November 2019, triggered by rising gas prices.
In images seen on social media, we see many women present, some women fiercely removing their headscarves and brandishing them in looks in protest.
Rallies took place in the capital, but the most violent clashes took place in the province of Kurdistan.
Three people were killed during these demonstrations in Iranian Kurdistan, announced Tuesday the governor of the province, quoted by the agency Fars.
In a press conference, Ismail Zarei Koosha spoke of three suspicious deaths in different localities of the province and plots fomented by the enemy, saying that one of the victims was killed by a type of weapon not used by Iranian security forces, according to Fars.
Earlier Tuesday, in a statement, the NGO Human Rights Watch, based in New York, had reported that videos circulating on social media and testimonies indicate that authorities used tear gas to disperse protesters and apparently used lethal force in Kurdistan province.
Using lethal force and tear gas to quell protesters demanding justice for the death of a young woman after she was arrested by police reinforces the systematic nature of the abuse of human rights and impunity by this government, denounced Tara Sepehri Far, researcher at the NGO HRW, in the press release.
From Geneva, the acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, on Tuesday expressed her concern over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini and the violent reaction […] security forces to the protests that followed, said a statement from the Office of the High Commissioner.
According to the Kurdish human rights organization Hengaw, based in Norway, at least 221 people were injured and 250 were arrested in this region of Kurdistan.
Videos posted on social media, in which live ammunition can be heard, showed violent clashes, particularly in the town of Divandareh, between protesters and security forces.
For its part, the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Oslo, reported that four people were killed in these demonstrations, where the slogans Death to the dictator or Woman, life, freedom were heard. .
We urge countries that have diplomatic relations with Iran, the European Union in particular, to stop further state assassinations by supporting the demands of the people for respect for their fundamental rights, the NGO said.
French President Emmanuel Macron is due to meet on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the x27;United Nations General Assembly in New York, with Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi, according to the French presidency, as the prospect grows 7;stretching to relaunch the Iran nuclear deal.