In Iran, women have to follow a strict dress code, including wearing a headscarf. In recent months, the police unit has been getting more and more criticism for using too much force. Since the death of Mahsa Amini, who was 22 years old, there have been more calls for Iran to stop punishing women who are thought to be breaking the dress code, which has been in place since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
On Sunday, the day after her funeral, almost every front page in Iran was about her. On the front page of the ultra-conservative newspaper Javan, it said, “The nation has shown its sadness over Mahsa’s sad death.” Amini is from the province of Kurdistan in the northwestern part of the country. She was in Tehran with her family when she was arrested on Tuesday.
State TV said she died on Friday after she had been in a coma for three days. Soon after, a large group gathered in front of the Kasra hospital in the center of Tehran. According to the Fars news agency, some people in her hometown of Saghez, where her body was laid to rest on Saturday, threw rocks at the governor’s office and chanted against the government.
Etemad, a reformist publication, said, “The people are shocked and outraged by what happened to Mahsa Amini.” It also noted that the country has had “multiple instances of violence by the morality police.” The moderate Jomhouri-e Eslami daily warned that the “violent behaviour” of the unit’s officers could lead to “social fragmentation.”
Amini’s death is being looked into by President Ebrahim Raisi, a former head of the judiciary which is very conservative and took office last year. IRNA, an official state news agency, said Sunday that Raisi called the family and said, “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel like this happened to one of my own relatives.” He also said he would keep an eye on the case. But some of the more conservative media outlets tried to fight back against the criticism.
The government’s daily newspaper in Iran said that reformists were “taking advantage of public feelings by using a bad event to turn the country against the government and the president.”