The women of Iran are furious.

Listen to this story being read by Brielle Burns, here. 

Mahsa Amini was on holiday with her family in the Iranian city of Tehran when she was dragged into a van by the morality police.

The 22-year-old, who is Kurdish and from the north-western city of Saqez, was accused of breaking the law, requiring women to cover their hair with a headscarf and wear loose-fitting clothes in public. 

CCTV footage of the incident, later released by police, shows her collapsing to the ground at the moment of her arrest last week. 

After being detained, police took Amini to a detention centre to be "educated", the BBC reports.

According to eyewitnesses at the centre, Amini appeared to have been beaten inside the van.

Hours after being arrested, Amini was taken to hospital after falling into a coma. 

On Friday, she died in hospital, three days after her arrest. 

Her father holds the police responsible for her death, saying Amini had no health problems and had suffered bruises to her legs in custody. 

"I asked for access to (videos) from cameras inside the car as well as courtyard of the police station, but they gave no answer," he told an Iranian news website, according to AAP.

Police have denied harming the 22-year-old and said she instead suffered "sudden heart failure". 


Widespread protests in Iran.

Amini's death has ignited widespread protests across the country and unleashed an outpouring of anger over issues ranging from freedoms in the Islamic Republic to the crippling economic impacts of sanctions. 

The unrest, which broke out on Saturday after Amini's funeral, has spread to more than 50 cities and towns over the past five days.  

Women, who are heavily present in the protests, have been seen burning their hijabs or cutting their hair in anger. 


Footage shared online shows some protesters chanting, "women, life, freedom" and "death to the dictator".

In one video, a woman is seen sitting on top of a utility box while cutting her hair in the main square in Kerman, while people chant around her.  

People gather during a protest for Mahsa Amini in Tehran. Image: Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty.  

According to Hengaw, a Kurdish rights group, seven protesters had been killed by security forces and 450 people have been injured in the demonstrations. 

Officials have denied that security forces have killed protesters.

A "police assistant" has also died from injuries in the southern city of Shiraz, the official IRNA news agency reports. 

"Some people clashed with police officers and as a result one of the police assistants was killed. In this incident, four other police officers were injured," IRNA said. An official quoted by IRNA said 15 protesters were arrested in Shiraz.

As protests continue, authorities have now restricted access to the internet and social media.

According to Hengaw, access to the internet had been cut in Kurdistan province – a move that would hinder videos being shared from a region where the authorities have previously suppressed unrest by the Kurdish minority.

Instagram, which is the only major social media platform that Iran usually allows, has also been blocked and WhatsApp users said they could only send text messages, not pictures. 

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also didn't mention the protests when he delivered a televised speech on Wednesday commemorating the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

But while Khamenei is silent, the rest of the world has continued to be vocal.

Protests have now broken out in Turkey, Lebanon and major US cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas, New York City, and Chicago, as outrage of Amini's death spreads across the globe.

US President Joe Biden has also shared his country's support of the protests.

In an address to the UN General Assembly this week, he said Americans stood with "the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights".

A woman sets fire to her headscarf during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini in Istanbul, Turkey. Image: Chris McGrath/Getty.  

What life is like for women in Iran. 

In Iran, women have been required to wear the hijab in public since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

However, on August 15, weeks before Amini's death, Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, ordered a stricter enforcement of the country’s dress code. 

According to the UN Human Rights Office, verified videos show women being slapped in the face, struck with batons and thrown into police vans for wearing the hijab too loosely.


A number of women have also been arrested across the country after the national "hijab and chastity day" declared on 12 July. 


28-year-old writer and artist, Sepideh Rashno, was one of them. 

Rashno was arrested after footage of her being harassed on a bus for wearing "improper clothing" was shared online. 

According to the Hrana human rights group, she was taken to hospital with internal bleeding after her arrest and later made a "forced" confession and apology on television. 

Calls for an investigation.

Last week, Human rights organisation, Amnesty International, slammed the morality police for enforcing "the country’s abusive, degrading and discriminatory" laws, and called for the circumstances leading to Amini's "suspicious death" to be criminally investigated.

"The so-called ‘morality police’ in Tehran arbitrarily arrested her three days before her death while enforcing the country’s abusive, degrading and discriminatory forced veiling laws. All agents and officials responsible must face justice," they wrote on Twitter. 


A top United Nations official has also demanded an independent investigation into Amini's death.

Nada Al-Nashif, the acting UN high Commissioner for Human Rights, said, "Mahsa Amini's tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority."

How can we help?

In terms of donations, The NCRI Women's Committee aims to achieve equal rights for Iranian women. Money donated to them helps them improve and expand their efforts to support Iranian women's struggle. 

United for Iran empowers a growing global network of issue experts, coders, developers, and activists to create an Iran where civil liberties are respected. Their technologies empower Iranians to stay informed, voice their beliefs, stand up for their values and organise. Their campaigns raise public awareness and directly pressure the Islamic Republic of Iran to spare lives, release prisoners and stop persecutions.


The international community is being urged to amplify the voices of the Iranian people. So follow and share their messages on social media! 

- With AAP.

Feature Image: Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Chris McGrath/Getty.