TEHRAN: Iranian police on Monday called Mahsa Amini’s death an “unfortunate incident” which they do not want to see happen again, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Amini was a 22-year-old woman who fell into a coma and died after she was arrested in Tehran by vice police last week, sparking protests across the country by Iranians angered by security forces’ treatment of women. country security.
“Cowardly accusations have been made against the Iranian police. We will wait for the day of reckoning, but we cannot stop doing security work,” Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi added.
The protests persisted on Sunday and #MahsaAmini became one of the top hashtags of all time on Twitter in Persian as Iranians fumed over his death.
Amini, 22, died on Friday after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran earlier in the week in the custody of vice police enforcing strict hijab rules.
Amini’s death has revived calls to curb his actions against women suspected of breaking the dress code.
The day after his funeral in Kurdistan, almost all of the Iranian press devoted its front page to his story on Sunday.
“The nation has expressed sadness over the sad death of Mahsa,” said the front page of the ultra-conservative Javan newspaper.
Originally from the northwestern province of Kurdistan, Amini was visiting her family in Tehran when she was arrested on Tuesday.
Hundreds of protesters gathered around Tehran University on Sunday, shouting “Woman, life, freedom”, according to online videos.
The #MahsaAmini hashtag has now reached 1.63 million mentions on Twitter.
Demonstrations also took place in Kurdistan on Saturday, including at the funeral in his hometown of Saqez.
Police cracked down on protests in Saqez, with videos uploaded showing at least one man with head injuries.
In Saqez, some residents threw stones at the governor’s office and chanted slogans against the authorities.
Behzad Rahimi, an MP for Saqez, said a few people were injured during the funeral.
“One of them was taken to Saqez Hospital after being hit in the intestines by ball bearings,” he said.
Kurdish rights group Hengaw said 33 people were injured in Saqez.
As Iran recovers from the woman’s death, the Sunday front page of the financial newspaper Asia said: “Dear Mahsa, your name will become a symbol.”
The police unit – tasked with enforcing Iran’s dress code for women – had already come under increasing criticism in recent months for its excessive use of force.
“People are shocked and outraged by what happened to Mahsa Amini,” the reformist publication Etemad noted, saying the country suffered “multiple cases of violence by the morality police.”
The daily Jomhouri-e Eslami warned of “social fragmentation” triggered by the “violent behavior” of officers in the unit. President Ebrahim Raisi promised the family in a phone call that he would follow up the case, telling them “your daughter is like mine”. daughter and I feel like this incident happened to one of my own relatives.
However, some of the more conservative media sought to fend off the barrage of criticism.
The government daily Iran accused the reformists of “exploiting public feelings by using an unfortunate incident to turn the nation against the government and the president”.
An ultra-conservative newspaper, Kayhan, claimed that “the number of rumors and lies spread in the wake of Mahsa’s death has increased dramatically”.
“Nevertheless, the publication of footage of this incident by the police prevented opportunists from exploiting it,” the publication argued.