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As the Supreme Court of India is listening to the petitions for upholding the right of female students in Karnataka to wear hijabs in schools, Iran is witnessing massive protests against the Hijab rules. The protests that turned violent in some parts of the country started after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was detained by the “morality police" of Iran for not complying with the strict Hijab rules.

Who is Mahsa Amini?

Mahasa Amini was 22-year-old ethnic Kurd from the Saqez city Kurdistan province. She was arrested outside a metro station in Tehran on Tuesday by the “morality police" for not complying with Hijab rules. The witness of the arrest claims that she was beaten in the police van that took her to the detention center.

CCTV footage is also going viral on social media where a female official can be seen manhandling Amini.

Who are Iran's morality police?

Also known by the names of Guidance Patrol, fashion patrol etc., morality police of Iran was established in 2005 with the objective to ensure compliance of dress code. They have a van with both male and female officers deployed in pubic spaces like shopping centres, subway stations, busy city squares etc., to detain women not complying with the dress code.

The police has rejected claims of beating Amini and informed that her death was due to “sudden heart failure" while she was in the education facility.

Iran's Interior minister said on Saturday that Ms. Amini "apparently had previous physical problems." The claim is rejected by her family with her father claiming she was "fit and had no health problems".

Protests all over the country

The death has sparked protests across Iran with lakhs of women coming on the road against the regressive Hijab rules. Videos of Iranian women are doing rounds on social media where they can be seen chopping off their hair and burning their Hijab.


Iranian revolution of 1979:

The Iranian revolution of 1979 was a important event in the history of country when people chose to live under Islamic laws in the referendum. The referendum was called after Islamist movement supported by left succeeded in overthrowing Pahlavi dynasty under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The government was replaced with an Islamic republic under rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. After the Islamic revolution, the country came under strict sharia law which mandated several restrictions on women especially related to dress code.

Under Iran's sharia law, which was imposed after the 1979 revolution, it became mandatory for women to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to conceal their figures. All those who violated such norms are facing public rebukes, fines and even arrests.

Protestors killed:

On Wednesday, the rights groups in the country claimed that six protestors were killed by the Iran police. Rights group Article 19 said it was "deeply concerned by reports of the unlawful use of force by Iranian police and security forces" including the use of live ammunition.

Amini's body was buried in her hometown Saghes on Saturday morning. The protest began on the same day with demonstrators clashing with police near the governor's office.

UN condemned the death of Mahasa Amini

The United Nations condemned the death of Amini and demanded an independent investigation into the matter.

“Mahsa Amini's tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority," said Nada Al-Nashif, the acting UN high commissioner for human rights.

 

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