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Why women are cutting hair, burning hijabs in Iran?

Amini died on Friday, falling into a coma, three days after she was arrested and reportedly beaten by morality police in Tehran.

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Tehran: A protest is brewing on social media in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22 year-old woman, following her detention by Iran’s morality police. To register their protest, Iranian women are cutting their hair and burning hijabs to protest the mandatory veiling of women.

Amini died on Friday, falling into a coma, three days after she was arrested and reportedly beaten by morality police in Tehran.

Massive protest on social media

The death sparked a massive protest on social media with women removing their headscarves in protest at the compulsory wearing of hijabs at Amini’s ceremony.

Some women also cut their hair and set fire to their hijabs in a symbolic protest against the country’s law requiring women over the age of seven to wear religious headscarves.

“Iranian women show their anger by cutting their hair and burning their hijab to protest against the killing of #Mahsa_Amini by hijab police,” Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad tweeted.

From the age of 7 if we don’t cover our hair we won’t be able to go to school or get a job. We are fed up with this gender apartheid regime, she added.

In several tweets, Alinejad shared the video clips of students protesting.

“We don’t deserve to be beaten, lashed, jailed and now murdered like Mahsa for not wanting to wear hijab. We want freedom of choice,” she wrote.

Following the outrage, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi directed the interior minister to launch an investigation.

According to an Al Jazeera report, the 22-year-old was on a family visit to Tehran when she was detained by the specialist police unit. After a while, she had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital with the help of emergency personnel.

“Unfortunately, she died and her body was transferred to the medical examiner’s office,” state television reported on Friday. The announcement came a day after Tehran police confirmed Amini had been detained with other women for “instruction” about the rules.

Amnesty International reaction on death of Amini

Reacting to the incident, human rights organisation Amnesty International said, “The circumstances leading to the suspicious death in custody of 22-year-old young woman Mahsa Amini, which include allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in custody, must be criminally investigated.”

“The so-called ‘morality police’ in Tehran arbitrarily arrested her three days before her death while enforcing the country’s abusive, degrading and discriminatory forced veiling laws. All agents and officials responsible must face justice,” it added.

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