'Abolish morality police', Iranians urge after Mahsa Amini killing
Mahsa Amini, 22, was on a visit with her family to the Iranian capital city of Tehran when she was detained on Tuesday by the police unit responsible for enforcing Iran's strict dress code for women, which includes the compulsory wearing of the headscarf in public.
She was taken to Vozara Street Detention Centre to take lessons in "modesty" and was to be released an hour later. Iran has tough laws on women covering their hair and dress.
In the detention centre, she was beaten to the point in which she had symptoms that resembled a concussion and was soon hospitalised, where her organs failed.
Amini died on Friday afternoon.
Women of Iran-Saghez removed their headscarves in protest against the murder of Mahsa Amini 22 Yr old woman by hijab police and chanting:— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 17, 2022
death to dictator!
Removing hijab is a punishable crime in Iran. We call on women and men around the world to show solidarity. #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/ActEYqOr1Q
"What is clear is that Mahsa Amini died while in police custody, simply for wearing what some agents deemed not Islamic enough. I see outrage coming from all corners of the Iranian society, with people saying the entire "morality police" is an immoral and un-Islamic practice that should be abolished and stopped", Negar Mortazavi, journalist and host of the Iran Podcast, told The New Arab.
"I even see many religious Iranians who practice Islamic teachings and observe the hijab themselves, saying this is not in line with their religious beliefs and that the state needs to stop", she added.
Iranian women shared Amini's photo in hospital across social media, saying they fear that they could be next to face the Islamic Republic's morality-police brutality.
On Saturday afternoon, women in Amini's hometown of Saghez took off their own headscarves in protest against morality police brutality after her funeral.
Locals have reported that police are shooting at protesters in Saghez and have cut the internet in the Kurdish-populated city to censor the violent scenes against civilians on social media.
"The "morality police" has become known as a force of harassment and violence against women in public places across Iran, and there is a growing call against them", Mortazavi explained, adding that Islamic scholars and leaders across the Muslim world have urged that forcing women to wear hijab is an un-Islamic practice.
"I hope this horrific tragedy becomes a turning point for the Iranian state to stop this violent practice and harassment against women."