President of the United States, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, 21 September, expressed his support for the "brave women of Iran" who have been protesting since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini's death in police custody.
"Today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights," Biden said while addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
As of now, nine people have reportedly been killed in the protests, reported BBC.
The report further added that among those reported killed was a 16-year-old-boy, who was shot dead when the security forces opened fire.
Biden's statement came after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi rejected calls from Western powers to respect women's rights, reported BBC.
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, on Tuesday, 20 September, also said that "Mahsa Amini should be alive today."
"Mahsa Amini should be alive today. Instead, the United States and the Iranian people mourn her. We call on the Iranian government to end its systemic persecution of women and to allow peaceful protest," Blinken said.
Protests erupted across Iran on 19 September over the death of Amini, who was allegedly arrested and beaten up by the police for not following the hijab laws in the country.
Amini was travelling from Iran's western province of Kurdistan – where she hails from – to Tehran to visit relatives on 14 September. During her travel, she was reportedly nabbed by the "guidance patrol" or morality police for failing to meet the country's strict dress code for women.
Several witnesses said that she was then beaten up in a police van, as per The Guardian.
A video of her being purportedly shoved into a van has also been going viral on social media. However, the country's police have denied all allegations.
As per Iranian human rights organisation Hrana, Amini's family were told by the police that their daughter would be released after a "re-education session."
Later, they were informed that she had been taken to the hospital and transferred to an intensive care unit, where she was declared brain dead.
On the other hand, the police said that the 22-year-old died after suffering a heart attack on 16 September, two days after she was allegedly arrested.
Several women took to the streets to protest against Amini's death and removed their hijabs to mark their solidarity.
(With inputs from BBC, The Guardian.)
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