Five anti-hijab protesters were killed by Iranian security forces in the Kurdish region on Monday. The security forces opened fire during protests over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. The 22-year-old was stopped and detained by Iran's morality police, for not covering her hair with hijab, in Tehran on Tuesday. She died after falling into a coma on Friday.
The Morality Police
The Morality Police enforces a dress code in Iran. Women have to wear headscarves in public. They are banned from wearing tight trousers, ripped jeans, brightly colored outfits, and clothes that expose the knees.
General Hossein Rahimi, the Tehran police chief, said Amini had violated the dress code and as such the police had asked her relatives to bring her "decent clothes". He brushed off the allegations and accusations against the police. Rahimi said there was no negligence or inappropriate behaviour on the part of the police. The police maintained that Amini died of a heart attack. They also released a closed-circuit video footage purportedly showing the moment she collapsed.
Troops Opened Fire
The Hengaw Human Rights Organization, a Kurdish group, revealed that troops opened fire on demonstrators. It said two of the killings occurred in Amini's home city of Saquez, while other protesters were killed in the towns of Divandarreh and Dehgolan.
The group outlined that 75 people were wounded and at least 250 arrested in a number of cities. The Hengaw Human Rights Organization posted videos and photos highlighting fatalities, injuries and arrests during the third day of demonstrations in Western Iran's Kurdish cities.
Protesters Demand Investigation into Amini's Death
Adamant for justice to prevail, millions of protesters, particularly in the Kurdish region, across the country have taken to the streets to have their voices heard. Students gathered in many Tehran universities calling for an investigation into Amini's death and the dismantling of the mortality police.
Demonstrators took to Tehran's Keshavarz Boulevard and chanted "Death to the dictator". They also protested against the police crackdown and damaged a police vehicle.
The protesters torched trash bins and threw rocks. They marched down Hijab Street in central Tehran denouncing the morality police. Hundreds of protesters also took off their hijab (Islamic headscarf)... "Death to the Islamic republic," they chanted. The police closed roads leading to the central Vali-e Asr square. The forces arrested scores of people and dispersed the crowd using batons and tear gas. There were similar gatherings in the northeastern city of Mashhad.