At least 31 people were killed in clashes with Iranian security forces during protests that erupted over the death of a woman detained by morality police, Iran’s Human Rights Organization (IHR) said.
“The people of Iran have taken to the streets to achieve their fundamental rights and human dignity… and the government is responding to their peaceful protest with bullets,” IHR Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said in a statement, in which he published a total death toll after six days of protest.
Mahsa Amini, 22, a native of Northwest Kurdistan, was arrested on September 13 in Tehran on charges of “wearing inappropriate clothing” by the moral police, a unit responsible for enforcing strict dress code. The young woman allegedly left some of her hair visible under the veil on her head. She died on September 16 in a hospital.
Women in Iran must cover their hair and are not allowed to wear shorts above the knees, tight pants or ripped jeans.
According to activists, Mahsa Amini was fatally hit on the head, but the Iranian authorities denied it and announced the opening of an investigation.
This Thursday (22), Iranian authorities blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp. Mahsa’s death was heavily criticized by countries and several international NGOs, who denounced the “brutal” repression. Iranian authorities have denied any involvement in the killing of protesters.
During the UN General Assembly in New York last Wednesday (21), US President Joe Biden expressed solidarity with Iran’s “courageous women” after a defiant speech by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
In wave of protests, Iran cuts mobile internet and limits WhatsApp and Instagram in the country