“Dear Mahza, your name will become a symbol”, the headline of the front page of the business newspaper “Asia” this Sunday (18), unites a large part of the Iranian press, shocked by the death of a young woman arrested by morality. Police from Iran for not wearing Islamic headscarves in public.
The police force responsible for enforcing the mandatory Muslim headscarf in the country has been repeatedly criticized in recent months for violent interventions against women suspected of flouting the country’s dress code since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Mahza Amini, a 22-year-old native of Kurdistan in northwest Iran, was on her way to the capital with her family when she was arrested on Tuesday by police enforcing a strict dress code for women.
A few days later, he was hospitalized in Tehran, where he spent three days in a coma and died in the hospital, where a crowd had already gathered to protest the case.
Tehran police said there was “no physical contact” between the officers and the young woman. Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi has called for an investigation. “The nation mourns Mahza’s tragic death,” wrote the ultra-conservative newspaper Javan.
In his hometown of Saghez, where he was buried on Saturday, residents threw stones at the governor’s office and shouted hostile slogans. This Sunday (18), almost all capital newspapers devoted their front pages and entire pages to the tragedy.
“The public is outraged and outraged by what happened to Mahza Amini.” The reformist newspaper Etemad noted that the nation had seen “repeated violence by moral police”. The moderate newspaper Jomhouri Eslami warned of “social breakdown” due to “violent behavior” by the police.
The Iranian government daily accused the reformists of “taking advantage of an unfortunate incident and exploiting people’s emotions by turning the nation against the government and the president.”
“The volume of rumors and lies raised after Mahza’s death has increased significantly,” noted the ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan. “However, the release of footage of the incident by the police has confused opportunists who wanted to exploit the incident,” the paper said.
The vehicle refers to a short surveillance video aired on official television that shows Mahza collapsing at a police station after an argument with a female police officer.
Over a million tweets
Filmmakers, artists, sportspersons, politicians, religious figures and many others are expressing their anger on social media.
Former president and reformist leader Mohammad Khatami called on authorities to “put an end to actions against law, reason and Sharia” and “bring the perpetrators of the incident to justice”.
Ayatollah Asadullah Bayat Sanjani condemned all the “conduct and events” that led to “this unfortunate and regrettable incident” as “illegal” and “illegal”. “The Qur’an clearly forbids believers from using force to impose what they consider to be religious and moral values.”he said.
Film director Asghar Farhadi, who won two Oscars for Best Foreign Film, noted that “Mahza is more alive today than we are” because “we are asleep, without reaction to this endless cruelty, we are complicit in this crime”.
“If they are Muslims, God make me an infidel,” Bayer Leverkusen forward Sardar Azmoun said.
“Our daughters hair is covered in a scarf,” several national soccer team players wrote in a joint Instagram story.
On Twitter, the Persian hashtag #Mahsa_Amini topped the charts on Sunday with nearly 1.5 million tweets.
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