Mahsa Amini, also known as Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian, passed away at a hospital in Tehran, Iran suspiciously. On September 16, 2022, this aggrieved incident happened.
Guidance Patrol (گشت ارشاد), the religious morality police of the Iranian government, detained Amini for not putting the headscarf in line with established norms.
The Iranian revolution came into being in 1979. After 1 month after the Iran revolution, Iran’s supreme leader Al-Khomeini decreed the hijab mandatory. He said they wouldn’t permit the women to enter workplaces or streets without veils.
Then Al-Khomeini stated in 2020 that “women who do veil inappropriately should be made to feel frightened”. Some authorities and clerics backed it, opening the door for more violence against women. However, a separate study revealed that among the general public, 72% of Iranians disapproved of hijab laws for women. Besides, 58% did not believe in it at all. Only 15% maintained the regulation.
Circumstances of Death
Guidance Patrol arrested her with her family present at the entrance to Tehran’s Shahid Haghani Expressway. After that, Moral Security took charge of her. During detention, her brother was there. Police informed him that they would bring her to the detention facility for a “briefing lesson”. Furthermore, they said that they would release her after one hour. They informed her brother that his sister had had a heart attack and a brain seizure at the police station. She was brought to Kasra Hospital two hours after her arrest.
Amini’s relative claims that police personnel humiliated and abused her in the vehicle in front of her fellow prisoners. She collapsed when she got to the police station because she started to lose her eyesight. The ambulance took 30 minutes to get there, and it took her an hour and a half to travel to Kasra hospital.
Amini was in a coma for two days. On September 16, journalist Niloofar Hamedi (later detained) broke the news of her coma. She tweeted a picture of Amini’s father and grandmother sobbing. Amini passed away later that day in the ICU.
Aftermath – Mysterious Statements
Eyewitnesses reportedly told the BBC that police assaulted Amini in the police vehicle. By September 17, Iranian authorities had refuted the claims that police had beaten her. They claimed that she suffered sudden heart failure.
The clinic where she was receiving treatment, announced on the Instagram post that she had been brain-dead since 13 September 2022. Later they took down the post.
According to a statement made by Tehran’s police commander on September 17, they detained Amini because of how she was wearing her hijab and because she was wearing tight jeans. They denied any allegations.
Iran International claims that the Iranian authorities created phony medical paperwork for Amini that claimed she had a history of heart problems. On September 20, neurosurgeon Dr. Massoud Shirvani revealed on state-run television that Amini had a brain tumor that was removed when she was eight years old.
On September 19, police published CCTV footage showing a lady they had recognized as Amini speaking with a government official. Amini slumps over while holding her head with her hands. Amini’s father rejected this video as an “edited version” of the events.
Saleh Nikbakht, the attorney for the Amini family, told the news outlet Etemad that “respectable physicians” think Mahsa was injured while being held.
The top medical official in Hormozgan province, Doctor Hossein Karampour, noted in a letter that the symptoms, a head injury and the resulting bleeding, do not match the reasons given by some authorities who declared the cause to be a heart attack. Medical scans of her skull further supported this statement that hackers allegedly released. Those scans allegedly showed a bone fracture, bleeding, and cerebral edema.
As a response to Amini’s death on September 16, 2022, while traveling to Tehran from Saqqez, protests and civil unrest against the Iranian government started in Tehran. Eyewitnesses claim that Guidance Patrol personnel assaulted Amini severely. Iranian officials dispute this claim.
Protests on Social Media for Mahsa Amini
Social Media platforms rushed into supporting Mahsa Amini. One of the most frequently used hashtags on Persian Twitter was #MahsaAmini. More than 80 million people used these hashtags in tweets and retweets. Some Iranian ladies uploaded videos to social media showing themselves protesting by cutting their hair.
Protests on Streets for Mahsa Amini
On September 17, protesters gathered in front of the Tehran hospital where Amini had been receiving care. Security personnel used pepper spray to disperse protests. According to human rights organizations, police took some people into custody also. Then Amini’s death sparked a wave of demonstrations. Saqqez was her hometown, where people also demonstrated. Some yelled “death to the tyrant” and feminist cries from the Kurdish community like “woman, life, freedom.”