Sonke Gender Justice calls for justice for the death of Mahsa Amini

Ms Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman died in the hands of morality police last week.

She was visiting the Iranian capital with her family when she was detained on Tuesday by the morality police because she was not wearing “improper” headscarf in public. The police unit is responsible for enforcing the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Sonke condemns the violence women suffer in the hands of government forces in such circumstances. Amini suspiciously fainted in a jail cell with others while being detained and President Ebrahim Raisi has ordered the interior minister to open an investigation into Amini’s case. There are reports that allege that that she died as a result of ‘torture and was insulted’.

Iran has severe rules against women and strict policing on their dressing code, leading to a decline in women’s rights. In the last few days, many female protestors have taken to the streets without hijabs, and some have cut their hair as an act of defiance. Reports indicate that about about 34 people have since died since the outbreak of pretests in the cities of Iran.

According to the latest statistics, over 16,000 women are prosecuted by the military police in Iran for violations, this includes wearing an improper hijab.

We call on the government to act urgently in investigating Amini’s death and those of the numerous protestors arising from the popular protests. We call on police to stop the harassment on women and citizens who are rightfully angered by the cruel death of Amini. We call on the civil societies to open dialogue and intervene on women’s rights. We call for accountability and the officials involved to face justice.

As Sonke Gender Justice we stand in solidarity with the people of Iran calling for accountability on this matter.