five questions about the suspicious death of Mahsa Amini, which embraces the country

Anger is brewing in Iran. The death in disturbing circumstances of Mahsa Amini, 22, on Friday September 16 in Tehran, provoked a wave of riots in the country. The versions of the authorities and the family differ, the first ensuring that the young woman died of a heart attack during a control of the morality police. His relatives denounce, them, violence which would have led to death. Franceinfo looks back on this event which embraces the country as three people were killed during demonstrations in Iranian Kurdistan on Tuesday, September 20.

What is the authorities’ version?

Visiting Tehran with her family, Mahsa Amini was arrested on Tuesday, September 13 by the morality police responsible for enforcing strict dress rules for women. This arrest was to be used to dispense “instructions”, a Thursday assured the local police. Mahsa Amini, “along with a number of people, were taken to one of the police headquarters”Corn “she turned out to be passed out while she was with other people in a meeting room”a detail of the font.

Immediately transported to the hospital, “She died and her body was transferred to the forensic institute”, said on Friday on state television. In a statement, Tehran police confirmed the death of the young woman. “There was no negligence on our part. We conducted investigations (…) And all the evidence showed that there was no negligence, or inappropriate behavior on the part of the police” , assured General Hosseim Rahimi, chief of police in the Iranian capital.

To support the police’s version, state television broadcast excerpts from a video in which we see a woman, presented as Mahsa Amini, getting up to talk with a “instructor” about her attire and then collapse.

How does Mahsa Amini’s family respond?

Amjad Amini, the victim’s father, told the Fars News Agency on Monday (September 19th) that the “video was cut”. His daughter has “been radiant late in the hospital”, according to him. He also assured that his daughter was “in perfect health”contradicting the statements of Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who argued that “Mahsa apparently had previous issues” and that she “had undergone brain surgery at the age of 5”.

The media Iranian Internationallocated in London, tweeted images presented as a CT scan of Mahsa Amini’s skull and showing abone fracture, hemorrhage and cerebral oedema”, supporting the idea of ​​a violent death caused by mistreatment.

On the social network, other Internet users have shared photos of the young woman showing her intubated on a hospital bed, obviously unconscious.

What are the morality police?

Now known as the Gasht-e Ershad (“orientation patrol” in Iranian), thea morality police is a unit that patrols the streets to verify the application in public places of the headscarf law and other Islamic rules. Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian law requires all women, regardless of nationality or religious beliefs, to wear a veil that covers the head and neck, while concealing the hair.

This is not the first time that this police force has been debated in Iran. “All Iranian women have memories of skirmishes, and lots of bad memories with the morality police who are everywhere and who systematically repress women”explains to franceinfo Mahnaz Shirali, Iranian sociologist and political scientist.

Why are people angry?

Since Saturday, violent clashes opposeIranian security forces to protesters in major cities across the country. Mahsa Amini is “became the symbol of the injustice that has reigned for 43 years” in Iran, advance Mahnaz Shirali.

In Saghez (north-west of the country), the birthplace of Mahsa Amini located in the province of Kurdistan, where she was buried on Saturday, residents threw stones at the seat of the governor and shouted hostile slogans. DThe demonstrations also took place in the capital of the province of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, but also in Tehranand in the second city of the country, Isfahan.

On social networks, women show themselves with their faces uncovered cutting their hair or burning their hijab.

“With the death of Mahsa Amini, there is a form of saturation that is expressed”, observes political scientist Dorna Javan, specialist in mobilizations in Iran, with franceinfo. Three people died in Iranian Kurdistan on Tuesday, September 20, in clashes with police. The authorities refer three dead “suspects” and one “conspiracy fomented by the enemy”claiming that one of the victims was killed by a type of weapon not used by Iranian security forces.

Even within the Iranian political class, voices are beginning to rise against this morality police. “It achieves no results except to cause damage to the country”MP Jalal Rashidi Koochi revealed to the Isna news agency. “The main problem is that some people don’t want to see the truth”, he regretted. In an attempt to calm the situation, the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raïssi, asked for the opening of an investigation.

What are the international reactions?

This case has a major following in Iran, but also abroad. The White House has judged the death of the young woman “unforgivable”. “We will continue to hold Iranian leaders accountable for such human rights abuses”, a writing on Twitter Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser to US President Joe Biden. The Quai d’Orsay, for its part, described the arrest and death of the young woman as “deeply shocking”.

Geneva, the United Nations Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, expressed on Tuesday “its concern over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini (…) and the violent reaction of the security forces to the demonstrations that followed”.

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