Iranians have taken to the streets of the capital Tehran to protest the death of a young woman detained for violating the country’s conservative dress code.
The semi-official Fars news agency said students at multiple universities in Tehran gathered to protest on Monday, demanding an investigation into Mahsa Amini’s death and the destruction of the ethics police who were holding them. her when she died.
Witnesses said protesters poured into Keshavarz Avenue, a central street, chanting “Death to the dictator”. They also shouted against the police and damaged a police car. Witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.
Late on Monday, Associated Press reporters saw trash cans and rocks ablaze at several downtown intersections as the smell of tear gas hung in the air. Police closed the roads leading to the central square of Vali-e Asr. Plainclothes security forces and groups of riot police could be seen throughout the area, and mobile internet service in central Tehran was down.
Dozens of protesters on motorbikes appeared briefly at several junctions, where they overturned trash cans and shouted protests against the government before speeding away.
Meanwhile, videos circulating on social media showed a third day of protests in Kurdish-majority cities in western Iran as well as the northern city of Rasht and a university in central Iran. Isfahan city center. The AP was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the footage.
Ethical police arrested 22-year-old Amini last Tuesday for not covering her hair with a Muslim hijab, known as a hijab, which is mandatory for Iranian women.
Police say she died of a heart attack and deny that she was abused. They released self-contained footage last week that purported to show the moment she fell. Her family says she has no history of heart disease.
Amini, a Kurd, was buried Saturday in his hometown of Saqez in western Iran. Protests broke out there after her funeral and police fired tear gas to disperse protesters on Saturday and Sunday. Several protesters were arrested.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who departed for New York on Monday to address the United Nations General Assembly, ordered an investigation and pledged to pursue the case in a phone call with Amini’s family. The judiciary has opened an investigation and a congressional committee is also looking into the case.
The hijab has been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and the ethics police are responsible for enforcing that and other restrictions. The force has come under criticism in recent years, especially over its treatment of young women.
Dozens of women dropped their headscarves in protest in 2017. Iranians have also taken to the streets in recent years to deal with an economic crisis exacerbated by Western sanctions related to the program. Iran’s nuclear program.