An Iranian woman has died after security forces attacked the latest protest over the violent crackdown on women having to wear hijabs, according to disturbing local reports.
Video filmed in Kerman on Sunday captures harrowing sobs and screams as people continue fighting even as others try to attend to someone seemingly collapsed on the ground.
At one point, someone runs up behind another man to smack the back of his head.
Onlookers filming through the smashed front window of a vehicle scream in terror as he also collapses.
The wild fistfight was started by members of the paramilitary Basij force who came across a group protesting the restrictive rules ordering women to cover their hair, according to IranWire.
A 60-year-old woman died after the scuffle, according to the local Rouydad24 news website.
The outlet said that she suffered a cardiac arrest, although Iranians sharing footage of the fight suggested that she was beaten.
At one point, one of the women’s friends pleaded that “She is dying” — just to be told, “Let them die, to hell with it,” according to Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad.
“My heart is broken,” Alinejad tweeted — likening it to Mahsa Amini, whose September death in custody for not wearing a hijab sparked defiant protests against the restrictive rules.
A 60-year-old woman died after the scuffle, according to the local Rouydad24 news website.iranwire.com
Alinejad claimed that the latest violence came as the paramilitary forces returned from paying respects at the graveside of Qassem Soleimani, the then-head of the country’s elite Quds Force who was killed in a US missile attack in January 2020.
The semi-official Fars news agency confirmed the woman’s death — but said the scuffle was between two groups of people, with no mention of forces being involved, according to IranWire.
The governor of Kerman said the “mass conflict” was sparked by personal issues, without mentioning a protest against hijab rules, the outlet said.
The death came just a week after Iran’s deputy attorney general warned that those encouraging women to remove their head coverings would be prosecuted in criminal courts — with no right of appeal against conviction.
The woman’s death came just a week after officials threatened even tougher crackdowns on those defying hijab rules.via REUTERS
“The crime of promoting unveiling will be dealt with in the criminal court whose decisions are final and unappealable,” the semi-official Mehr News quoted deputy attorney general Ali Jamadi as saying.
“The punishment for the crime of promoting and encouraging others to remove the hijab is much heavier than the crime of removing the hijab itself, because it is one of the clear examples of encouraging corruption,” he added.
He did not say what the punishments might be or what exactly entails promoting unveiling.
With Post wires