Al Arabiya reports a growing public outcry in Iran after a 22-year-old girl was fatally beaten by the authorities for failing to fully cover her hair with a hijab.
Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iranian 'morality police' in the nation's capitol of Tehran after traveling there from the Kurdistan region. She was beaten during the arrest and fell into a coma shortly thereafter. According to Iranian authorities, she suffered a fatal cardiac event while in custody.
“Tehran’s police announced that Mahsa Amini ‘suddenly suffered from a heart problem’ - as if a 22-year-old woman has a heart attack that causes a coma and disfigurement naturally. Iranian media are publishing this nonsense as fact,” Mahsa Alimardani, a digital-rights researcher with the human rights organization ARTICLE 19, wrote on Twitter.
Hijabs have been mandatory for women in Iran since the Iranian Revolution, and women who fail to don them correctly, as well as wearing full-length, loose-fitting clothing, risk being charged by the country's theocratic authorities.
Mahsa's death has sparked a wave of online criticism, with viewers noting that the injuries seen in a photo of her in a hospital bed point towards cranial injury, rather than cardiac event, as the cause of death. One user, going by @rezahajilou, commented: "“Mahsa Amini’s ears have bled. Most likely, her skull was broken and her ears were bleeding due to a severe beating. The heart attack story is a lie. We are dealing with a terrible crime"