UN requests for investigation into Iranian woman’s death – Nexus News

The United Nations has requested for an independent investigation into the death of an Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s morality police, but authorities have debunk allegations that she was beaten or mistreated.

“Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority,” Nada al-Nashif, the acting UN high commissioner for human rights, stated on Tuesday.

Amini’s death has caused widespread protests across the country, including in the capital, Tehran, where protesters chanted slogans against the government and clashed with police. They are requesting for an investigation into the death of the 22-year-old woman and the disassembling of the morality police – known as Gasht-e Ershad or Islamic guidance patrol.

The UN Human Rights Office stated that Iran’s morality police have heightened their patrols in recent months, aiming at women for not properly wearing hijab, a scarf worn by some Muslim women.

The European Union spokesperson for external affairs stated that the incident leading to Amini’s death was “unacceptable” and that “perpetrators of this killing must be held accountable”.

Amini was arrested on September 13 and taken to a “guidance center” where she fainted and died three days later. Iranian police have denied maltreating Amini and say she died of a heart attack. Authorities said they are investigating the incident.

Demonstrators erupted in the country after her death and police fired tear gas to chase demonstrators on Saturday and Sunday. Several protesters have been captured, according to local media. Al Jazeera could not independently confirm the report.

A news website affiliated with state TV stated that 22 people were arrested at a protest in the northern city of Rasht, the first official confirmation of arrests related to the protests.

Iran’s government did not swiftly comment on the claim but has previously berated the work of UN investigators examining rights issues in the country.

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Should be alive’

The United States also berated her death and implored Iran to end its “systemic persecution” of women.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken took to social media and said Amini “should be alive today”.

“Instead, the United States and the Iranian people mourn her. We call on the Iranian government to end its systematic persecution of women and to allow peaceful protest,” he tweeted.

The comments from Blinken came despite tense dialogues between the US and Iran to reestablish the 2015 nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump unilaterally extracted from in 2018.

Iranian police released closed-circuit video footage last week allegedly showing the moment Amini fainted. But her family says she had no history of heart issues.

Amjad Amini, her father, told an Iranian news website that witnesses saw her being roughly pushed into a police car.

“I asked for access to [videos] from cameras inside the car as well as the courtyard of the police station, but they gave no answer,” he said. He also blamed the police for not taking her to the hospital quickly, saying she could have been revived.

Amini’s father said when he got to the hospital, he was not permitted to see the body, but he managed to get a glimpse of bruising on her foot.

Authorities then mount pressure on him to bury her at night, clearly to reduce the likelihood of protests. But Amini’s father said the family convinced them to let them bury her at 8am instead. Amini, who was Kurdish, was buried on Saturday in her home city of Saqez in western Iran.

Local actors, footballers, politicians and other celebrities have expressed their feelings and outrage during interviews with local media or social media, while several internationally renowned figures, including JK Rowling, have also commented.

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