Iranian police fire tear gas at protest after woman’s funeral

Iranian police fire tear gas at protest after woman’s funeral

TEHARN, Iran (AP) — Iranian police fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse a protest rally in the west of the country after the funeral ceremony for a young woman who died earlier this week during her arrest in Tehran, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Police have said 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained on Tuesday after Iran’s so-called “morality police” found a flaw in her headscarf, or hijab, had died of a heart attack. Police have also released a closed circuit. footage from the police station, which they say shows the moment Amini collapsed. A relative said she had no history of heart disease.

According to the Fars report, after Amini’s funeral in the city of Saqez, about 460 kilometers (280 miles) west of the capital Tehran, some protesters gathered in front of the governor’s building, chanting slogans. The report went no further.

After the police showed up and fired tear gas, the protesters dispersed. There was no immediate information about any injuries.

Videos posted to social media on Saturday claimed to show protesters in Saqez chanting anti-government slogans, but The Associated Press was unable to verify the videos or confirm the location in the footage.

Amini’s death sparked an outcry against the morality police of celebrities and prominent figures on social media. The Iranian judiciary has launched an investigation into her death.

The headscarf has been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and members of the vice squad enforce the strict dress code. The force has been criticized in recent years for 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 taken stricter measures.

However, the reformist political party Etemad Melli urged Iran’s parliament to repeal the mandatory hijab law and proposed President Ebrahim Raisi to abolish the vice squad.

The Kasra Hospital in Tehran, where police took Amini after she collapsed and fell into a coma, said she was brought in without vital signs.

Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who rarely responds publicly to events in Iran, expressed grief, calling Amini’s death in custody a “crime.”

Iranian hardliners have called for harsh punishments and even whipping of women who disobey the hijab law, arguing that allowing women to show their hair leads to moral decline and the breakdown of families. Justice has in recent years urged people to inform women who do not wear hijab.

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