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JERUSALEM – The Islamic Republic of Iran’s morality police are embroiled in a shocking case of brutality for the alleged murder of a 22-year-old woman arrested for failing to comply with the theocratic state’s radical law requiring women to cover their hair.
The case of Masha Amini, who died Friday in Tehran, sparked widespread outrage among Iranian-Americans who are urging President Biden to deny a visa to Iran President Ebrahim Raisi to prevent him attending the United Nations General Assembly, where he will address the world body next week.
“Masha was from my hometown, Saqqez. She was a brave Kurdish girl. The agents of the government killed her because brave Iranian women challenge the symbols of the Islamic government wherever they can and refuse to follow the laws of slavery,” Sardar Pashaei, the former head of Iran’s national Greco-Roman wrestling team, told Fox News Digital.
“The people do not consider only a few police officers responsible for Masha’s murder, but they directly consider Ali Khamenei [Supreme Leader of Iran], Ebrahim Raisi and Mohammad Khatami [former president of Iran] as partners in this crime.”
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Mahsa Amini, 22, who was reportedly murdered by Iran’s morality police. (Obtained by Fox News)
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Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman allegedly murdered by Iran’s morality police. (Obtained by Fox News )
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Iran’s morality police allegedly murdered 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. (Obtained by Fox News)
He stressed the Iranian people blame the regime clerics he cited as responsible for Amini’s murder because “they call from their podiums to crack down on the opposition and encourage the so-called morality police. People are very angry about this situation, and this anger will one day bring down the mullahs’ government.”
According to eyewitnesses, the Iranian morality police arrested Masha Amini Tuesday in Tehran for failing to properly wear the hijab (headscarf) and was beaten while in a police van. Amini fell into a coma and died Friday.
Masha’s brother Kiarash witnessed the seizure of his sister by the “morality patrol” and told the news organization Iran Wire he went to the courthouse in Tehran to file a complaint.
“I will pursue it,” he said. “But you know how the system works,” a reference to allegations Iran’s judiciary is corrupt, loyal only to the regime and opaque.
“I won’t allow this to end in silence,” Kiarash said. “I will tell everyone in Iran what happened.”
Iran’s police denied that Amini was killed, claiming the young woman “suddenly suffered a heart problem.”
The so-called “butcher of Tehran,” the president of Iran, Raisi was sanctioned by the Trump administration for his role in the mass murder of 5,000 Iranians in 1988 and an additional 1,500 Iranians in 2019.
“This is yet another horrific, unconscionable crime by the Islamic Republic, the likes of which we never hear about,” Lisa Daftari, an Iranian-American foreign policy expert, told Fox News Digital. “This latest attack shows the emboldening of the regime, just days before Iran’s President Raisi is to fly to New York to participate in the UNGA [United Nations General Assembly].
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Aug. 29, 2022. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
“Instead of showing ‘good behavior’ in light of all the opposition to his visit to the U.S., the regime continues flexing its muscles and brutally ended the life of an innocent 22-year-old solely because of the way she was reportedly wearing her headscarf.”
Video footage appeared on Friday showing street protests in Iran against the regime for the reported murder of Amini. Demonstrators chanted “Down to the Dictator.”
According to the Iranian news Twitter handle @1500tasvir_en, “A group of women in Tehran took the hijab off and blocked the street to protest the murder of Masha Amini by the Hijab Police of the Islamic Republic, chanting ‘ISIS, ISIS.’”
Robert Malley, the Biden administration’s special envoy for Iran, criticized Amini’s death, calling it “appalling.”
“According to hospital employees at Kasra Hospital in Tehran, last night, the floor where Mahsa (Zhina) Amini’s room was, was evacuated, and several ‘medical professionals’ who none of the hospital staff had ever seen before had been brought in by agents of the Revolutionary Guards,” Banafsheh Zand, an Iranian-American researcher, told Fox News Digital.
“The regime is now claiming that Mahsa suffered a cardiac event while in detention, but it is clear to all that she suffered from serious injuries from the beating she received during arrest where they slammed her head (as seen on the videos) on the car door and later. My question to Western modern women is, is emancipation for thee and not for me?”
Despite Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s comments Monday that a new nuclear deal with Iran happening in the short-term seemed unlikely given Iran’s latest response, Biden administration critics claim the administration is still intent on securing a nuclear weapons deal with Iran’s regime that abandons human rights.
“With one grave violation of human rights after another, the regime keeps testing for moral resolve from the free world, and much to its satisfaction, finds none,” Mariam Memarsadeghi, a fellow for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute told Fox News Digital.
“The West is intent to appease Khamenei’s Islamist cabal, having learned nothing from its failed stance toward Putin. It’s a policy that doesn’t just put Iranian lives at risk. It is a fundamental threat to global security. Biden’s myopic focus on the nuclear file has resulted only in emboldening the regime.”
Fox News Digital sent press queries to Iran’s foreign ministry and its U.N. Permanent Mission.
Benjamin Weinthal reports on Middle East affairs. You can follow Benjamin Weinthal on Twitter @BenWeinthal.