German foreign minister urges Iran listen to women protesters

Germany’s foreign minister on Tuesday called on Iran’s leadership to listen to the women protesting in the streets over the death of a woman in police custody, saying they were standing up for basic human rights.

Mahsa Amini, 22, from Iran’s Kurdistan province, fell into a coma and died while waiting with other women held by Iranian morality police, who enforce strict rules in the Islamic Republic requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes in public.

Her death has sparked popular unrest throughout Iran, during which at least three people have so far been confirmed killed.

“They must be listened to, as these women are demanding rights that all people should have,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

This comes after American officials and politicians condemned the death of a young woman in police custody in Iran.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that Mahsa Amini “should be alive today,” referring to the 22-year-old who was arrested on September 13 by the religious police for her loose hijab and two hours later delivered to a hospital in coma.

“Instead, the United States and the Iranian people mourn her. We call on the Iranian government to end its systematic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest,” Blinken wrote.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also tweeted about Mahsa Amini’s death, saying “Her death is unforgiveable. We will continue to hold Iranian officials accountable for such human rights abuses,” adding the trending hashtag of #MahsaAmini.