Protests have spread to almost all of Iran’s 31 provinces and urban cities since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the police. On Sept. 13, Amini was arrested by a morality police (Gasht-e Ershad) patrol in a Tehran metro station, allegedly for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.
She was hospitalized after the arrest, fell into a coma and died three days later. Iranian authorities maintain that she died of a heart attack. Her family says that she had no pre-existing heart conditions.
The death in custody in Iran of a Kurdish woman that led to widespread protests must be “steadfastly” investigated, Iran’s president has said, as he lamented what he claimed were western “double standards” on human rights.
Ebrahim Raisi told a news conference on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York that the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police “must certainly be investigated”.
“I contacted her family at the very first opportunity and I assured them we would continue steadfastly to investigate that incident … Our utmost preoccupation is the safeguarding of the rights of every citizen.”
A police officer has been found not guilty of assaulting an ex-footballer the night he was killed. Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith was accused of striking Dalian Atkinson with her baton when he posed no threat in August 2016, but claimed she was “very frightened”.
Mr Atkinson had been acting out of character outside his father’s house in Telford due to ongoing health issues and died after being tasered by PC Bettley-Smith’s partner, Benjamin Monk. He was jailed in 2021.