The US State Department has condemned the murder of an Iranian woman in police custody after she was detained for not wearing a headgear.
Outrage over Mahsa Amini’s death is growing both domestically in Iran, according to reports from opposition groups, and around the world.
The 22-year-old’s death last Friday has sparked a new wave of opposition to Iran’s religious police and morals, including from some prominent left-wing members of the country’s parliament. Protests have erupted in dozens of cities across the country, according to anti-government sources.
“The death of Mahsa Amini after injuries sustained while in custody for wearing an ‘inappropriate’ hijab is a horrific and gross insult to human rights,” a spokesman for Joe Biden’s National Security Council told reporters. “Our thoughts are with Mahsa’s family and loved ones.”
“Women in Iran should have the right to wear whatever they want, free from violence or intimidation. Iran must end the use of violence against women to exercise their fundamental freedoms,” they continued. “There must be accountability for the death of Mahsa.”
In the US, protests continued with renewed fervor outside the United Nations headquarters and a nearby hotel where Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi is staying while attending a General Assembly meeting. Thousands of protesters gathered in the streets on Wednesday demanding justice.
“No one can and should be silent about the barbaric killings of young 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by this brutal regime,” said Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad, Advisory Chairman of the Organization of Iranian-American Communities.
Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of Iran’s National Council of Resistance, added that Ms Amini’s death “ignited the powder keg in our rebellious cities”.
“Indeed, the moment this killer enters the building supposed to serve the nations of the world is a moment of shame and disgrace for those who appease the prevailing religious fascism, a moment that scars the conscience of mankind, Ms Rajavi added. Mr Raisi’s upcoming speech to the General Assembly.
At least some in the body seem to agree, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an investigation into Ms Amini’s death and alleged torture.
The Biden administration remains engaged in negotiations with Iran’s leadership over a possible resumption of the 2015 nuclear deal signed between the Obama administration, Tehran and a handful of European countries.
Senators from the Foreign Relations Committee said: TBEN on Tuesday that they had no updates on the status of those negotiations, which are being completely opposed by more aggressive members of Congress.