A 22-year-old Iranian woman has died after being detained by the country’s morality police for allegedly not complying with strict hijab regulations.
Mahsa Amini was travelling to the Iranian capital Tehran with her family from the western province of Kurdistan when she was reportedly arrested for failing to meet the country’s rules on women’s dress.
Witnesses said that Amini was beaten in the police van, an allegation the police deny.
The news comes weeks after Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi ordered a crackdown on women’s rights, calling for stricter enforcement of the country’s mandatory dress code, which requires all women to wear the hijab head-covering in public.
Amini’s family were notified that she had been taken to hospital hours after her arrest. She was transferred to an intensive-care unit at Kasra hospital.
According to Hrana, an Iranian human rights organisation, the young woman’s family were told during her arrest that she would be released after a “re-education session”.
Police later said that Amini had suffered a heart attack, a claim Amini’s family disputes as they say she had not been experiencing any health problems.
The interior ministry and Tehran’s prosecutor had launched inquiries into the case after an order from Raisi, state media reported.