Mahsa Amini


Used with Permission by Canva/Kate Matthes

The death of an Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, has sparked protests all over Iran.

Josie Tollinger, Staff Writer

On Sept. 16, 2022, a 22 year old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini died in the hospital in Tehran, under suspicious circumstances. 

The morality police is a unit of Iran’s police force that is tasked with enforcing the laws of Islamic dress code in public. Following the Islamic Revolution, it was made mandatory that all women must wear the hijab in Iran. Women who are caught not wearing the hijab risk paying a fine and in some cases are imprisoned. Unfortunately that was the case for Amini. Three days before her death, she was visiting her brother in Tehran, while on her visit she was arrested by the Iranian morality police. 

Allegedly, Amini was wearing her head scar too loosely and was going against the Iranian law. Amini was brutally arrested for her “inappropriate attire” and was taken straight into police custody. Two days after the arrest she was taken to the hospital because she was reportedly non responsive and brain dead. The hospital at which Amini passed away stated that she could not be saved because of her drastic brain damage. 

“Was such that she could not be saved nor was surgery possible because her brain tissue was seriously damaged and it was clear that the patient was not injured by a single punch and must have received many blows to her head.” said a source from the Kasra Hospital.

The cause of her death caused lots of disputes and suspicion of whether the cause of her death could have been prevented. Iran’s security and the Amini family have both protested on how this woman actually died. 

“Upon her arrest, Amini was taken to a detention center where she received training on hijab rules, and it was there that she collapsed from a heart attack.” said Iran’s security forces.

However the Amini family has then disagreed with that claim and said that she was healthy and never faced any heart issues before this incident. 

“Amini’s family disputes that account and said that police beat Amini in their patrol car on the way to the detention center and that witnesses saw it happen. Amini’s father told an Iranian news outlet that he wasn’t allowed to see her body in the hospital, but that he caught a glimpse of her foot and it was bruised. Reports indicate that her death was caused by a skull fracture from heavy blows to the head,” said Time Magazine.

Protests began after Aminis funeral on September 17th. Protests started in Aminis hometown but have rapidly spread throughout the whole country. Women in Iran have been furious over what has happened and are fed up with how they have been treated. Iranian women have tried to show their frustration by burning their hijabs or cutting their hair. 

“Iranian women have taken to burning hijabs and cutting their hair in public and on social media as a means of standing in solidarity with Amini. Crowds gathered in Tehran’s public squares and shocking videos have gone viral of police assaulting peaceful protestors. Protests have also spread internationally,” said Time Magazine.

This story has gained the attention of many people around the world. Iranian women are hoping for change, justice, freedom and peace. In the last 20 years the women’s rights movement has been growing, and they have increasingly become more defiant over the country’s modesty laws. Iranian women hope that the death of Amini will spark change in the ways in which they are treated.