Women Take Off Hijabs in Protest After 22-year-old Dies Following Police Arrest in Iran – WATCH

A large number of women protestors gathered and removed their black headscarves in protest of a young woman who died while in police custody in Iran

The death of a 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini, who was reportedly arrested and beaten up by the police in Iran for not following the hijab rules, sparked a number of protests all around the country. In western Iran, the women took off their hijabs as a mark of protest and held rallies on the streets.

According to The Guardian, Amini was travelling to Tehran from the province of Kurdistan with her family when she was detained by the police. The 22-year-old was charged with violating the strict dressing codes that the country has implemented and taken away in a police van.

A number of witnesses claimed that she was beaten up inside the van and taken to the nearest police station. While the police denied all such allegations, she was taken to the Kasra hospital where the doctors admitted her in the intensive care unit. The authorities said that she had suffered a heart attack, but the family of the victim was not allowed to see her or talk to the doctors in the hospital.

Initially, the family was told that she will be released after a “re-education session” but Amini passed away in the hospital and that became the spark for a wide protest on the harsh punishments and stricter rules imposed on women’s clothing in public by the country’s President Ebrahim Raisi.

A number of videos on social media showed women even cutting their hair to mark their protest as the authorities resorted to the use of tear gas to stop them from marching on the streets.

Compulsory and Controversial Hijab Rule in Iran 

It is worth mentioning the headscarf has been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and members of the morality police enforce the strict dress code. The force has been criticised in recent years over its treatment of people, especially young women, and videos uploaded on social media have shown officers forcing women into police vehicles.

Since 2017, after dozens of women publicly took off their headscarves in a wave of protests, authorities have adopted tougher measures. Despite protests, Iranian hard-liners have called for harsh punishment and even lashes of women who disobey the hijab law, arguing that allowing women to show their hair leads to moral decay and the disintegration of families.