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General Studies 2 >> International Relations



Source: The Indian Express 


The death of a 22- year old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, after being detained by Iran's morality police has sparked widespread uproar in the country.

Key points

  • The circumstances of Amini's death remain contested.
  • Authorities have claimed she suffered a heart attack while in custody, while her family has alleged that she was beaten during her detention.
  • Amini was detained for not wearing her hijab properly a punishable offence in Iran.

Detention and death

  • Amini was detained for a "bad hijab" during her visit to Tehran along with her brother.
  • Iran's security forces have claimed that Amini suffered a heart attack during "educational training" on hijab rules.
  • However, Amini's family has said that she was in good health before her detention.


  • After her death, protests were first witnessed outside the hospital and later spread to her hometown Saqez, where the funeral was held on Saturday.
  • Viral videos showed several women protesters in Saqez taking off their hijabs in solidarity with Amini.
  • In another form of protest, several women posted videos on social media chopping off their hair.

Iran's hijab law

  • Iran passed a mandatory hijab law in 1981, making it a crime for women to appear in public without a hijab.
  • In July, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi passed an order to enforce the hijab law with new restrictions.
  • The month also saw women posting protest videos on social media while removing their hijabs in public.
  • Iranian authorities were planning to use facial recognition in public transport to enforce hijab rules.

The Kurdish issue

  • Amini was a Kurdish woman belonging to Iran's western Kurdistan province.
  • According to the Unrepresented Nations and peoples organisation, Kurds are from over 11 per cent of Iran's population.
  • Iran has long been accused by the Kurds of oppressing them.
  • A major flashpoint has been the demand for a separate state by several Kurdish groups.
  • Iranian authorities have time and again arrested many Kurdish activists, writers and students, among others.

For Prelims & Mains Perspective

For Prelims: Iran hijab law, Kurdish
For Mains: Discuss the hijab laws in various countries in the world (250 words)

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