Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman arrested by Iran’s Morality Police on September 13th for allegedly not wearing her hijab as per government standards, and showing strands of her hair in public, died while being taken to a hospital under police custody.

The police had stated that she died of a heart attack but her family has said that she had no medical conditions whatsoever. Her post-mortem reports also showed signs of damage to her brain, indicating that she was struck on the head.

Anti-government protests have broken out nationwide in Iran and are intensifying. Dozens of cities are embroiled in unrest that has been met with a crackdown by the authorities. There have been 7 deaths reported so far, as a result of the protests.

Some women were pictured cutting their hair and burning their hijab in public to show solidarity with Mahsa Amini who has become a symbol of violence against women under the Islamic Republic of Iran. Globally, women across the world have also followed the trend, using the hashtag #MashaAmini to protest against the regime.

The morality police of Iran, also known as ‘Ershad’, are known to be brutal and have had several allegations of abuse of authority, mostly in terms of use of excessive police violence. In recent days, the number of units patrolling the streets had increased significantly after a governmental crackdown on ‘inappropriate hijab.’