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Protests break out in Iran after Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody on morality charges

Police said Amini died on Friday after falling ill and falling into a coma days earlier while waiting with other women detained by the vice squad, which enforces the Islamic republic’s strict rules. requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose clothing in public.

Authorities have acknowledged making arrests at later protests, but denied abusing Amini and said they were investigating his death.

Rights activists have expressed concern over Amini’s death and the official response to the protests. His family denied having had any previous health problems, according to Reuters.

“The tragic death of Mahsa Amini and the allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority, which ensures, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth,” said Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif.

She also called on the Iranian authorities to “stop targeting, harassing and detaining women who do not respect the rules of hijab”.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday called on Iranian authorities to allow peaceful protests.

“Mahsa Amini should be alive today. Instead, the United States and the people of Iran mourn her. We call on the Iranian government to end its systemic persecution of women and allow peaceful protests,” he said. he said on Twitter.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian dismissed the criticism, accusing the United States of “shedding crocodile tears”.

Amini’s death and ongoing protests have sparked a flurry of social media posts protesting Iran’s hijab laws, with many women posting images online of themselves without veils.

Women’s rights groups have campaigned against the country’s strict laws in recent months, encouraging women not to wear the compulsory veil in public in protest.

Protesters in Tehran appeared to burn hijabs during demonstrations after Amini’s death.

A video circulating on social media and verified by NBC News appeared to show a woman climbing onto the hood of a car, with people heard chanting “women, life, freedom” before cheering as she held onto what appears to be a hijab on fire.

Other videos verified by NBC News appear to show protesters in Valiasr Square in Tehran on Monday. One video shows protesters in the street, while the other shows police attempting to disperse protesters with what appears to be water.

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