Iran is facing global criticism and calls for a proper investigation into the death of a 22-year-old woman who was detained by Iran’s ethics police for incorrectly wearing a hijab, or headscarf. The incident has fueled days of protests that have turned deadly in Iran.
“The tragic death of Mahsa Amini and the allegations of torture and abuse must be investigated promptly, fairly and effectively by an independent competent authority,” Nada al-Nasif, the UN’s acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Tuesday.
Amini was detained by Iranian authorities last week and taken to a police station where she collapsed. He died three days later.
Iranian police say she died of a heart attack and denied abuse. Officials say they are investigating the incident, but widespread protests against the detention and death of Amini have erupted across Iran, with three deaths linked to unrest.
Iran’s protest against woman’s death in hijab case spread to 16 provinces
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that Amini “must be alive today.”
“Instead, the United States and the Iranian people mourn them. We call on the Iranian government to end its systemic oppression of women and allow peaceful protest,” the top US diplomat said on Twitter.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirbadollahian dismissed criticism of officials’ handling of the case, accusing the United States of “shedding crocodile tears”.
He tweeted, “An inquiry was ordered into the tragic death of Mahsa, as (President Ibrahim Raisi) said, she is like our own daughters.” “For Iran, human rights are of inherent value – unlike those who see it (as) as a tool against adversaries.”
Iranians protest Mahsa Amini’s death amid growing calls for accountability
During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said, “Today, we stand with the brave citizens, the brave women of Iran, who are demonstrating right now to secure their basic rights.”
Italy’s foreign ministry blamed “the perpetrators of this cowardly act” against Amini, saying “violence against innocent people, especially women and girls, can never be tolerated.”
British Foreign Office Minister Tariq Ahmed tweeted On Wednesday, “we urge the Iranian government to investigate the circumstances of his death with rigor and transparency, and to hold anyone responsible.”
“We call on Iran to respect the right to peaceful assembly, to exercise restraint and to release the wrongfully detained protesters,” Ahmed said.
Some of the material in this report comes from the Associated Press and Reuters.