A young Iranian woman who slipped into a coma while in the custody of Iran’s morality police has been laid to rest in her hometown of Saghez in Iran’s Kurdistan Province amid tight security measures.
Hundreds of people reportedly attended the September 17 funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died on September 16 a few days after being taken into police custody for allegedly breaking the country's hijab rules.
Many mourners chanted “Death to the dictator,” according to amateur videos posted online.
Reports suggested that some of the angry mourners had marched toward the local governor's office to protest her death.
Police reportedly fired shots and tear gas to disperse the protesters. The Europe-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network said 15 people were injured, while reports suggested several people were arrested.
There were also reports of Internet disruptions in Saghez and several other cities in Iran's Kurdistan Province.
Amin’s death has led to widespread anger on social media, with many blasting Iranian authorities for promoting violence against women.
Eyewitnesses to Amini’s arrest told journalists that she appeared to have been beaten inside the morality police van while being taken to the detention center.
Mojgan Amini, Mahsa's mother, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda in an interview shortly before the news of her daughter's death that her family had filed a complaint with the Tehran police.
“My daughter was in perfect health before her arrest,” she told Radio Farda.
In a statement on September 16, Tehran police insisted "there was no physical encounter" between officers and Amini.
Police said Amini had suffered a heart attack after being taken to the station to be "educated.”
Closed-circuit television footage carried by state TV appeared to show a woman identified as Amini falling over after getting up from her seat to speak to an official at a police station. RFE/RL could not verify the video.
Iran has in past months intensified its crackdown on women challenging the hijab rule, which became compulsory following the 1979 revolution.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on September 16 called for “a transparent investigation” into Amini’s death, while also calling on Iranian authorities to abolish the compulsory hijab law and remove or reform other laws that deprive women of their rights.
The White House on September 16 called Amini's death "unforgivable."
"We are deeply concerned by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was reportedly beaten in custody by Iran's morality police. Her death is unforgivable. We will continue to hold Iranian officials accountable for such human right abuses," President Joe Biden's national-security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on Twitter.