Iranian police fire tear gas at rally after woman’s funeral

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Teharn, Iran — Iranian police on Saturday fired tear gas to disperse a protest rally in the west of the country following the funeral of a young woman who died in police custody in Tehran earlier this week, the report reported. semi-official Fars news agency.

Police say Mahsa Amini, 22, who was arrested on Tuesday after Iran’s so-called “morals police” found fault with her headscarf, or hijab, died of a heart attack. Police also released closed-circuit footage from the police station, which they say shows the moment Amini collapsed. A relative said she had no history of heart disease.

According to the Fars report, after Amini’s funeral in the town of Saqez, about 460 kilometers (280 miles) west of the capital, Tehran, protesters gathered outside the governor’s building, chanting slogans. The report did not give details.

After police showed up and fired tear gas, the protesters dispersed. There was no immediate information about any injuries.

Videos posted on social media on Saturday purported to show protesters in Saqez chanting anti-government slogans, but The Associated Press could not authenticate the videos or confirm the location in the footage.

Amini’s death sparked an outcry against morality police from celebrities and social media figures. Iranian justice has opened an investigation into his death.

Headscarves have been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and members of the vice police enforce a strict dress code. The force has come under fire in recent years for its treatment of people, especially young women, and videos uploaded to social media have shown officers forcing women into police vehicles.

Since 2017, after dozens of women publicly removed their headscarves during a wave of protests, authorities have adopted tougher measures.

However, the reformist political party Etemad Melli urged Iran’s parliament to repeal the compulsory hijab law and suggested President Ebrahim Raisi scrap the morality police.

Kasra Hospital in Tehran, where police took Amini after she collapsed and fell into a coma, said she was brought in without vital signs.

Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who rarely reacts publicly to events in Iran, expressed his sadness and called Amini’s death in custody a “crime”.

Iranian extremists have called for harsh punishments and even lashes for women who disobey hijab law, arguing that allowing women to show their hair leads to moral decay and the disintegration of families. Justice has in recent years urged people to report women who do not wear the hijab.

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ABC

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