Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian student, died in custody of the Iran’s morality
police on September 16. While police claim Amini died as a result of a heart
attack, her family says she had no history of heart illness. Iran’s morality
police are a government body that implements the country’s laws against “immodesty”
and “societal values”.
Amini was arrested on September
13, 2022 by the ‘guidance patrol’ over violating a law governing women’s
wearing of the Hijab.
Who was Mahsa Amini?
Mahsa Amini, also
known as Jina, was born on September 21, 2000 in Saqqez,
Iran and was raised by her father Amjad Amini. Her 17-year-old brother, Kairish
Amini, was with her on the night of her arrest. Mahsa’s father Amjad told the BBC
that his family was visiting Tehran so that Mahsa could pursue a degree in microbiology.
After she was arrested, Mahsa’s brother Kairish was
told that she would be taken to a detention facility where she would have to
undergo a “briefing class”. Instead, she was taken to the Kasra Hospital in an
ambulance. She was in a coma for two days and died in the intensive care unit.
Claims and counter claims
Iran’s law enforcement authorities say Mahsa Amini
died of a heart attack. But her family has maintained that she had no history
of heart illness. The clinic where Amini was treated released a statement on
Instagram saying she was already brain dead when admitted. Her brother,
Kairish, said he had noticed bruises on Mahsa’s head and legs.
Protests break out
Protests have broken out across Iran as thousands of women have taken to
the streets, removing their Hijab and cutting their hair short. Mahsa Amini has
become a symbol of violence against women in the country that ranks 154th
(out of 162 nations) on the Human Freedom Index.
have also spread to other parts of the world where women are demonstrating
outside Iranian consulates. “Women, life, freedom,” chant the protestors and
cry “Death to the dictator” referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.