Iran police fire tear gas to disperse protesters over death in custody

Iranian police fired tear gas to disperse a protest in the western, mainly Kurdish city of Sanandaj, where hundreds rallied to decry the death of a young woman while in police custody in Tehran last week, reports said.

The semiofficial Fars news agency reported late Sunday that police also arrested several people from about 500 protesters who had gathered on Sunday at Azadi Square in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province.

Fars also said the protesters smashed car windows and set fire to street garbage cans. The agency’s website carried a brief video showing scores of men and women protesting, claiming the police’s explanation about Amini’s death was “not reasonable.”

Mahssa Amini, 22, was detained last Tuesday by Iran’s so-called “morality police” who reportedly found fault with her hijab. Police said she died of a heart attack and have subsequently denied any allegations of torture or abuse.

After Amini’s death, police last week also released closed circuit footage from the police station, which they say shows the moment Amini collapsed. A relative has said she had no history of heart disease.

Amini, who was Kurdish, was buried on Saturday in her home city of Saqez, also in western Iran. Protests erupted there after her funeral and police also then fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

The case of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained last Tuesday after Iran’s so-called “morality police” found fault with her headscarf, or hijab, has set off a public outcry in the country, mainly on social media. Police said she died of a heart attack and have denied any allegations of torture or abuse. The case of Amini has caused widespread public outcry in Iran, with many taking to the streets and removing hijab’s in solidarity with Amini.

The headscarf has been mandatory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and members of the morality police enforce the strict dress code. The force has been criticized in recent years over its treatment of people, especially young women.

iran embassy Azerbaijan Jamshid Sharmahd