Monday, October 3, 2022

Iranian woman who died in custody laid to rest amid public anger, question marks

A young Iranian woman who died in morality police custody on Friday has been laid to rest in her hometown, amid public outrage over her suspected mistreatment and calls for authorities to clarify the situation revolving her death.

Thousands of people, including local officials, joined the family of Mahsa Amini, 22, in her burial ceremony in the city of Saqez in the western Iranian province of Kordestan on Saturday.

Amini fell into a coma while in custody in Tehran after being arrested by officers enforcing Hijab rules, known as “morality police,” on charge of failure to properly observe the mandatory Islamic dress code.

She died in hospital on Friday.

Iran’s police said Amini had suddenly collapsed from a heart attack at the detention center, where she and a group of others were receiving educational training on dress code rules.

The claim was, however, disputed by her family and many others in the public, who blamed the incident on the officers’ mistreatment of the young woman.

As investigations continue, the Iranian police released CCTV footage of the moment when she collapsed.

Amini is seen among a group of other women at the detention center while she looks fine. She then walks up to a woman in charge of the center and suddenly falls down as the two are talking.

Citing a source, Fars News Agency said the preliminary findings of the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization showed she had died of a heart attack.

The CT scan of her brain, the report said, showed traces of hydrocephalus. She had undergone brain surgery at the age of five for brain tumor and suffered from epilepsy and type 1 diabetes, it added.

Officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi, and lawmakers have called for an immediate investigation into Amini’s death.

Iranian social media pages have been flooded with expressions of sorrow and criticism of the morality police.

On Saturday, Iran’s human rights chief similarly urged a swift, meticulous investigation and a transparent report on the cause of the incident.

Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and the Judiciary chief’s deputy for international affairs, said several special teams of experts had been formed by the Judiciary and other state institutions to probe the tragic incident.

He called on the relevant bodies to complete the investigations swiftly and meticulously and offer a report of the results to clarify the situation surrounding Amini’s death.

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