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Death of Mahsa Amini In Hospital Due To Fracture In Skull
A 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini (also spelled Jina Amini or Zhina Amini) died under mysterious circumstances on September 16, 2022, at a hospital in Tehran, Iran. Amini was taken into custody by Iran’s Islamic morality police, the Guidance Patrol because her headscarf was too sloppy and she was revealing too much hair. After transporting her to the hospital, authorities say she had a heart attack there, fainted, and slipped into a coma. Several witnesses, including women who were imprisoned at the same time as Amini, have claimed that the death of Amini was the consequence of police abuse. These claims, along with the leaked medical images, convinced outside observers that Amini had suffered a stroke or haemorrhage in the brain.
Protests broke out after Amini’s death, CNN called them bigger than the ones in 2009, 2017, and 2019; The New York Times called them the biggest in Iran since at least 2009. Female protesters took drastic measures, with some removing their headscarf or even publicly chopping off their hair as a sign of defiance. According to Iran Human Rights, at least 185 people were killed by security forces in October 2022 when they responded to rallies around the country. Amnesty International stated that Iranian security forces had fired live ammunition into crowds and used batons to kill protestors.
Background of Mahsa Amini
Shortly after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iran instituted an obligatory dress code for women, based on the country’s interpretation of Islamic principles. Khomeini ordered all women to wear the hijab to work on March 7, less than a month after the revolution, and banned them from entering the workplace or any government office while exposed, which he called “naked.”
After the revolution, police enforcement and pro-regime vigilantes regularly used violence and harassment against women who did not adhere to the government’s norms for the hijab. Starting in the year 1980, women were required to cover their hair and wear a hijab whenever they entered or worked in a public or government building. In 1983, the penal code was changed to include the required hijab in public, with the phrase “women who appear in public without religious hijab will be condemned to whipping of up to 74 lashes.” The reality, however, is that many women, including Saba Kord Afshari and Yasaman Aryani, were given lengthy prison terms.
The Guidance Patrol, Iran’s morality police, has periodically launched campaigns to verbally admonish or violently arrest and “re-educate” women they considered to be wearing the hijab incorrectly due to the widespread loosening of clothing restrictions in the country over the past decade, especially among young women. In normal circumstances, inmates are escorted to a centre where they get hours of refresher training on the dress laws before being required to swear an oath to abide by them and being released to their families.
There have been protests against mandatory hijab since the Islamic Republic instituted its restrictions the day after International Women’s Day in 1979. One of the major protests took place between March 8 and 14, 1979. Protests against the mandatory hijab restrictions persisted, with one incident occurring in the 2019–2020 school year when protestors stormed a Guidance Patrol van, leading to the release of two imprisoned women.
In 2020, Ali Khamenei, the leader of Iran, was cited as saying that “improperly veiled women should be made to feel frightened,” opening the door to further violence against women. However, in the same year, an independent survey found that 58% of Iranians do not believe in hijab, and 72% are against mandatory hijab restrictions. Fifteen percent of the sample was adamant that everyone must comply with the law and wear it in public.
Situation of Death
On September 13, 2022, Amini and her family were stopped by the Guidance Patrol as they entered the Shahid Haghani Expressway in Tehran during her visit to her brother. After that, she was turned over to Moral Security. They told her brother that she would be transported to the detention centre for a “briefing class” and then released one hour later. At the police station where she was brought, her brother was told that his sister had suffered a heart attack and a brain seizure. She was brought to Kasra Hospital two hours after her arrest.
Amini’s relative claims that Amini and her fellow captives were abused and ridiculed during the van ride to the prison. When she finally made it to the police station, she began to experience eyesight problems and passed out. An hour and a half later, she finally arrived at Kasra hospital after waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Amini was in a coma for two days in Tehran’s Kasra Hospital, prompting a protest against the Guidance Patrol and the hijab law. On September 16th, she passed away in the ICU.
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Evidence of Brutality
The hospital or clinic where Amini was treated announced on Instagram that she was already brain-dead when she arrived there. The photo was removed from Instagram. The bruises on Amini’s head and legs caught the attention of her brother. The other women in detention claimed that Amini had been severely beaten for standing up to the officers who had arrested her and subjected her to their insults and curses.
Clinical signs, such as bleeding from the ears and bruises under the eyes, led several specialists to conclude that Amini had sustained brain damage. This was allegedly substantiated by supposed medical scans of her skull, leaked by hacktivists, revealing bone fracture, bleeding, and cerebral edoema. The Iranian government allegedly fabricated medical records for Amini showing she had a history of heart disease, as reported by Iran International. On 20 September, Dr Massoud Shirvani, a neurosurgeon, said on state-owned media that Amini had a brain tumour that was evacuated at the age of 8.
Early CT scans were made available by the hospital on September 21. CT scans, according to the government’s supporters, show psychological stress due to a prior brain operation, while scans, according to the government’s detractors, show physical beating and trauma. The Iranian government said that five-year-old Amini had brain surgery. According to Amini’s dad, “Those people are dishonest… She never experienced any sort of health problem or surgical procedure.” According to BBC interviews with two classmates, they had no idea Amini had been hospitalised.
On September 29th, a former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps published an audio recording in which anonymous “reliable sources” claim that Amini died from a skull injury caused by a brutal beating. Attorney Saleh Nikbakht for the Amini family has told Etemad online news website that “respectable doctors” believe Mahsa was hit in detention. Nikbakht added that the family would like to see a fact-finding commission investigate her death and that the police body camera footage from after her arrest should be turned over.
Penalty For Disobeying Law
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin imposed penalties against seven senior officers of Iran’s various security groups, including the head of the Morality Police, on September 22 “for brutality against protestors and the killing of Mahsa Amini.” The Iranian Minister of Intelligence Esmaeil Khatib, the head of the Tehran branch of the Morality Police, Haj Ahmad Mirzaei, Salar Abnoush, the deputy commander of the Basij militia, and two law enforcement commanders, Manouchehr Amanollahi and Qasem Rezaei of the LEF in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, are among those who have been arrested. Any assets or interests in assets under US jurisdiction would be frozen and reported to the US Treasury as part of the penalties. Any third party that assists the sanctioned entities with transactions or services will be subject to penalties.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau announced on September 26 that Canada will take action against the Morality Police, its leadership, and the officers responsible for Amini’s death and the crackdown on the protestors. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced the sanctions on October 3; they affect nine organisations, such as the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the country’s Morality Police, and 25 people, including senior government officials and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Among them are Iran’s chief of staff, Mohammed-Hossein Bagheri, IRGC Commander-in-Chief, Major General Hossein Salami, and IRGC Quds Force Commander, Esmail Qaani.
On October 7th, Canada increased their sanctions by permanently barring entry for 10,000 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or almost half of the organization’s leadership. Trudeau also said that Canada would increase penalties against individuals responsible for Iran’s “egregious behaviour.” Chrystia Freeland, the deputy prime minister, also stated that Iran was a “state supporter of terror” and that the country was “oppressive, theocratic, and misogynist; The IRGC leadership are terrorists, the IRGC is a terrorist organisation.”
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