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Mahsa Amini: Demonstrators clash with security forces in Iran as protests continue

Published: Updated:

Protesters in western Iran clashed with security forces on Monday, footage shared on social media showed, as demonstrations over the death of a young woman in police custody last week continued.

Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, fell into a coma shortly after being arrested in Tehran by the morality police on September 13 and was pronounced dead on Friday, prompting protests on social media and on the streets.

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Footage circulating on social media showed heavy clashes on Monday between protesters and security forces in Divandarreh, a city in Iran’s Kurdistan province.

Security forces opened fire on protesters in Divandarreh, injuring eight people, the Prague-based Radio Farda reported.

In the capital Tehran, students from at least three major universities – Amir Kabir University, Shahid Beheshti University, and Tehran University – rallied on Monday to condemn Amini’s death.

One video from Amir Kabir University showed students chanting against the Basij, a paramilitary arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

On Sunday, protests continued for a second consecutive day in the city of Sanandaj, the provincial capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province, footage circulating on social media showed. Some women removed their headscarves to protest Iran’s mandatory hijab law as demonstrators chanted “death to Khamenei” in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, one video showed.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi said Amini was stopped by the morality police because her hijab was “inappropriate.” He denied allegations Amini was beaten by police officers.

Tehran’s police previously said Amini “suddenly had a heart problem” while in detention, and state-run outlets ran stories claiming she suffered from multiple health conditions prior to her arrest.

But Amini’s parents have said that their daughter did not have any health problems prior to being detained. Activists say she was beaten while in detention, causing her serious injuries that led to her death.

Hijab, which was made mandatory for women in Iran shortly after the country’s 1979 revolution, is considered a red line for Iran’s theocratic rulers. Women who break the strict dress code risk being harassed and arrested by Iran’s morality police.

Based on the dress code, women are required to fully cover their hair in public and wear long, loose-fitting clothes.

Read more: Iran police slams ‘cowardly accusations’: Mahsa Amini ‘dressed inappropriately’