Iranian police said on Monday the death of a young woman in custody was an “unfortunate incident” which they do not want to see repeated, a semi-official news agency reported. Mahsa Amini, 22, fell into a coma and died following her arrest in Tehran last week by the morality police sparking protests in parts of Iran including Tehran and the Kurdistan province where she came from.
The police have said Amini fell ill as she waited with other women being held by the morality police, who enforce strict rules imposed since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose fitting clothes. But Amini’s father told pro-reform Emtedad news website on Sunday that his daughter was fit and had no health problems.
Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi said “cowardly accusations” had been made against Iranian police, Amini suffered no physical harm, and the police had “done everything” to keep her alive. “This incident was unfortunate for us and we wish to never witness such incidents,” Rahimi said in the statement reported by the Fars news agency.
The police screened a video showing a woman identified as Amini walking into a room and taking a seat alongside others. It then fast-forwards to show her on her feet talking to someone who appeared to be inspecting part of her clothing.
The woman identified as Amini then raised her hands to her head and collapsed. Rahimi said paramedics arrived within one minute of her collapse. Amini’s father told Emtedad on Sunday that the police took two hours to transfer her to hospital and if she had arrived earlier she would not have died. Rahimi said he could not comment on the cause of death because this was a medical rather than a security issue, adding that the morality police were “doing positive work”. Amini’s death could ramp up tension between the establishment and Kurdish minority numbering 8 to 10 million.
When Iran’s Islamic revolution took place
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