UN decries Iran’s ‘violent response’ after Mahsa Amini’s death

GENEVA: The United Nations has condemned the death of Mahsa Amini on Tuesday in custody after her arrest by Iran“moral police” and violent crackdown on protests over her death, demanding an independent investigation.
“The Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations Nada Al-Nashif today expressed alarm over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini … and the violent response of security forces to the ensuing protests,” the human rights office said in a statement. .
Public anger has grown since authorities announced Amini died in hospital after three days in a coma, after she was arrested by Tehran ethics police during a visit to the capital on September 13.
The police unit is responsible for enforcing Iran’s strict dress code for women, including the wearing of headscarves in public.
Protests were held in Tehran, including in several universities and the second city of Mashhad, according to Fars and the Tasnim news agency.
It was reported that the 22-year-old was “beaten on the head with a baton, and her head hit the car by the so-called moral police”, the UN statement said.
Authorities said she died of natural causes.
“The tragic death of Mahsa Amini and the allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent authority, in particular ensuring that her family have access to justice and truth,” Al-Nashif said in the statement.
UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani meanwhile told reporters that Iranian security forces are believed to have responded to the massive protests that broke out over Amini’s death “with live ammunition”.
Up to five people are known to have died in that crackdown, she said.
In his statement, Al-Nashif also expressed concern about the mandatory face covering law in Iran, where appearing in public without a headscarf can be punishable by imprisonment.
“Authorities must stop targeting, harassing and detaining women who do not comply with headscarve regulations,” the UN acting chief said, calling for the repeal of all laws and Discriminatory regulations impose mandatory headscarves.

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