'What true bravery looks like': JK Rowling praises Iranian women

‘What true bravery looks like’: JK Rowling praises Iranian women protesting over the death of a woman who died after she was arrested by morality police for not wearing a hijab

  •  JK Rowling praised Iranian women protesting against compulsory hijab
  •  Iranian women are protesting after a woman died in police custody
  •  Mahsa Amini died after detention by morality police for her appearance
  • Her death has reignited calls to rein in morality police actions against women suspected of violating the dress code 

JK Rowling has praised Iranian women protesting against compulsory hijab after a young woman died in morality police custody in Tehran. 

‘What true bravery looks like,’ Rowling wrote on Twitter with a clip showing Iranian women burning headscarves and cutting their hair during protests over the death of Mahsa Amini. 

Amini, 22, died on Friday after she was violently arrested and reportedly beaten by Iran’s notorious morality police for not wearing a hijab.

Iranian women protesting against compulsory hijab after a young woman died in morality police’s custody in Tehran

‘Death to the dictator’ -a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, chanted the crowd, while some women took off their headscarves

Amini, 22, died on Friday after she was violently arrested and reportedly beaten by Iran’s notorious morality police for not wearing a hijab

But her father told local media that other girls who were arrested with his daughter called him and confirmed that the police had beaten Mahsa.

Videos posted on social media showed protesters shouting anti-government slogans after gathering in Saqqez, hometown of Amini

Iranian police said on Monday the death of the young woman in custody was an ‘unfortunate incident’ they do not want to see repeated, a semi-official news agency reported, denying accusations of mistreatment.

But her father told local media that other girls who were arrested with his daughter called him and confirmed that the police had beaten Mahsa. 

State television on Friday broadcast a short surveillance video that showed a woman identified as Amini collapsing in the police station after an argument with a policewoman. 

‘They showed us a clip but believe me all of it is wrong. I do not accept that. It took 45 minutes to take her to the hospital and they were just walking around her for that period of time,’ Amjad Amini told Emtedad 

‘They did not know what to do. If they had taken her to a hospital earlier, she would be alive now. Doctors told me that if they had taken her to them only 10 minutes earlier, she would have been saved,’ he added. 

front pages of Iranian newspapers featuring articles and photographs of Mahsa Amini

Security forces on Sunday arrested several of about 500 demonstrators in Sanandaj, northwestern Kurdistan province, local media reported

nterior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said he had received reports that the emergency service had ‘immediately’ arrived at the scene

‘Lots of girls who were in custody with her phoned me and said they had beaten Mahsa. I am sure about it. They told us we should bury her at night. But I did not allow them to do that … My daughter had no problem. They killed her,’ Amini said. 

‘I swear to God that they killed my daughter,’ he said.

President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday made a phone call to the family and told them he considered their daughter and ‘all Iranian girls’ as his own children and had ordered a thorough investigation of the incident. 

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said he had received reports that the emergency service had ‘immediately’ arrived at the scene.

‘Mahsa apparently had previous physical problems and we have reports that she had undergone brain surgery at the age of five,’ Vahidi said. 

In the capital Tehran, dozens of students marched inside Tehran University and chanted ‘Iran is bleeding, from Kurdistan to Tehran.

Some of the students carried placards with ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ and. ‘I Don’t Want to Die’ written on them 

Her father however ‘insists that his daughter had no history of illness and was in perfect health,’ 

Anti government protest broke out over in western Iran over the weekend at the funeral of Amini as security forces used tear gas to disperse demonstrators.

Videos posted on social media showed protesters shouting anti-government slogans after gathering in Saqqez, hometown of Amini, from nearby cities in Iran’s Kurdistan province as they mourned the 22-year-old who died in a hospital in the capital Tehran on Friday.

‘Death to the dictator’ -a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, chanted the crowd, while some women took off their headscarves. Police were seen firing tear gas and one man was shown on a video with an injury to the head that someone could be heard saying was caused by birdshot.

People also took to the streets in central Alvand Province and in Mahabad, a city of around 170,000 in West Azarbaijan Province, with a majority Kurdish population.

According to Hengaw Human Rights Organization, a Kurdish rights group, security forces shot at protesters in Sanandaj, wounding at least nine people including two women. 

President Ebrahim Raisi, an ultra-conservative former judiciary chief who came to power last year, has ordered an inquiry into Amini’s death

In the capital Tehran, dozens of students marched inside Tehran University and chanted ‘Iran is bleeding, from Kurdistan to Tehran. Some of the students carried placards with ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ and. ‘I Don’t Want to Die’ written on them.

Security forces on Sunday arrested several of about 500 demonstrators in Sanandaj, northwestern Kurdistan province, local media reported, without specifying how many.

About 500 people gathered in Sanandaj, capital of Kurdistan province, and shouted slogans against the country’s leaders,’ semi official news agencies reported.  

The death has reignited calls to rein in morality police actions against women suspected of violating the dress code, in effect since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Filmmakers, artists, athletes and political and religious figures have taken to social media to express their anger over the death, both inside and outside the country.

Iranian women walk past next to a cleric in a street, in Tehran, Iran, 19 September 2022

Filmmakers, artists, athletes and political and religious figures have taken to social media to express their anger over the death, both inside and outside the country

The death has reignited calls to rein in morality police actions against women suspected of violating the dress code, in effect since the 1979 Islamic revolution

President Ebrahim Raisi, an ultra-conservative former judiciary chief who came to power last year, has ordered an inquiry into Amini’s death.

Iranian ultraconservatives have called for harsh punishment and even lashes for women who disobey the hijab law, arguing that allowing women to show their hair leads to moral decay and the disintegration of families. 

Iran’s morality police has been criticized in recent years over its treatment of people, especially young women, and videos uploaded on social media have shown officers forcing women into police vehicles.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has supported a softer attitude toward women who do not comply with the official dress code.

But hard-liners have called for harsh punishment and even lashes, arguing that allowing women to show their hair leads to moral decay and the disintegration of families. The judiciary has in recent years urged people to inform on women who do not wear the hijab.

Since 2017, after dozens of women publicly took off their headscarves in a wave of protests, the authorities adopted tougher measures.

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