Iranian women recreate a viral TikTok dance without headscarves after reportedly 5 teens doing the same were detained and forced to make an apology video


In September 2022, the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who died in police custody after being detained by vice squad for “inappropriately” wearing a hijab, sparked widespread protest across Iran. Authorities claimed Amini died of a heart attack while in custody, while her family said she was beaten. The demonstrations over her death quickly turned into wider discontent with the regime.

In the six months since, Iranian security forces have routinely used draconian tactics to quell protests and even arrest children. In a report released on Thursday, Amnesty International found that children arrested during and after protests had received electric shocks to their bodies, had their heads submerged, had been sexually assaulted and threatened with rape. Many children were only released after they signed “letters of contrition” and promised not to take part in any more protests, the human rights group said. The Iranian government did not comment on the report, nor did it immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

A mysterious spate of suspected poisonings across the country has also left more than 1,000 schoolgirls hospitalized. Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, whose department is leading the investigation into the poisoning reports, said in early March that 90% of hospitalizations were due to “stress and worry caused by the news”. Many Iranians have rejected that statement, calling Vahidi’s claim “ridiculous” and criticizing the regime for not taking action on the reports despite widespread surveillance of residents.

In a Thursday press release, the United Nations called the poisonings “intentional” and condemned the government for failing to protect the girls and investigate the cases quickly.

“There is a stark contrast between the rapid use of force to arrest and detain peaceful protesters and months of failure to identify and apprehend perpetrators of large-scale, coordinated attacks on young girls in Iran,” UN experts said.

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