Tehran – Security forces on Saturday fired tear gas to disperse protesters in northwestern Iran after the death of a woman arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police”, reported local media.
Mahsa Amini, 22, was visiting her family in the Iranian capital when she was arrested on Tuesday by the police unit tasked with enforcing Iran’s strict dress code for women, including wearing a scarf in public.
She was pronounced dead on Friday by state television after spending three days in a coma.
His body was buried in his hometown of Saghez, 460 kilometers (285 miles) from Tehran in the northwestern province of Kurdistan, on Saturday morning, according to the Fars news agency.
“After the funeral ceremony, some people left the scene while others remained, chanting slogans demanding detailed investigations into the dimensions of the story,” the agency said.
“Protesters then gathered outside the governor’s office and chanted more slogans but were dispersed when security forces fired tear gas,” he added.
State TV broadcast footage on Friday showing her allegedly falling to the ground in a large hall full of women as she argued with one of the female instructors over her dress.
In a statement released on Friday, Tehran police insisted that “there was no physical encounter” between the officers and Amini.
He said Amini was among a number of women who were taken to a police station for “instructions” on dress code on Tuesday.
“She suddenly passed out while she was with other visitors in the lobby,” the statement read.
Earlier, President Ebrahim Raisi ordered an investigation into Amini’s case while the judiciary said it would form a special task force to investigate.
The head of Tehran’s medical examiner’s office told state television on Saturday that investigations into the cause of death would take up to three weeks.
Amini’s death comes amid growing controversy inside and outside Iran over the conduct of the morality police, officially known as the Gasht-e Ershad (patrol of orientation).
In July, a video of a woman standing in front of one of the force’s vans pleading for the release of her daughter went viral on social media.
The veiled woman continued to cling to the van as it drove away, only being freed after picking up speed.
Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the law requires all women, regardless of nationality or religious beliefs, to wear a hijab that covers the head and neck while concealing hair.
However, many women have pushed the envelope over the past two decades by allowing the hijab to slide back and reveal more hair, especially in Tehran and other major cities.