Why Iran Is Witnessing One Of Country’s Biggest Anti-Hijab Protests | Explained

Women-led anti-hijab protests in Iran after the death of a 22-year-old woman who was detained by the Morality police for not wearing a hijab.

By Radha Basnet
Updated: Fri, 23 Sep 2022 11:29 AM IST
Minute Read
Why Iran Is Witnessing One Of Country’s Biggest Anti-Hijab Protests | Explained
Representative Image (Reuters Photo)

IRAN has been witnessing massive protests over the death of a 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini, following her detention by the country's morality police, as women protesters walked into the streets chopping off their hair and burning their Hijab while protesting against the mandatory veiling of women. Media reports have stated that over 30 people and a police officer have been killed during the massive protests across the country.

The 22-year-old Kurdish woman from the north-western city of Saqez was arrested outside a metro station in Tehran last week by the morality police for not complying with Hijab rules.

According to several media reports, morality police sleuths beat Amini's head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles and later took her to the detention center. She died in a hospital on Friday (September 16) after spending three days in a coma.

(Note: Jagran English Does Not Verify The Veracity Of The Video)

However, the police have denied that she was mistreated and said she suffered "sudden heart failure". But her family has said she was fit and healthy. Meanwhile, a purported video captured through a CCTV camera is also going viral on social media where a female official can be seen manhandling Amini.

The morality police of Iran was formed in 2005 with the objective of ensuring adherence to the dress code. The forces with both male and female officers deployed in public spaces like shopping centres, subway stations, busy city squares etc., to detain women not complying with Iran’s dress code.

The death of a 22-year-old woman has sparked protests across Iran with lakhs of women coming on the road against the regressive Hijab rules. Videos of Iranian women on social media are doing rounds where they can be seen chopping off their hair and burning their Hijab.

(Note: Jagran English Does Not Verify The Veracity Of The Video)

According to 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. As per the law, violators will face public rebukes, fines and even arrests.

In 2014, Iranian women began sharing photos and videos of themselves publicly flouting the hijab laws as part of an online protest campaign called "My Stealthy Freedom".

After Amini's body was buried in her hometown Sagez on Saturday (September 17) morning, the protest began on the same day with demonstrators clashing with police near the governor's office.

Following the incident that sparked fury on social media, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ordered an inquiry into the case. Several lawmakers said they would raise the case in parliament, while the judiciary said it would form a special task force to investigate, reported Al Jazeera.

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

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