TOKYO: Iranians in Japan protested in support after a woman from the Saquez region near Iranian Kurdistan died, allegedly as a result of being detained by the morality police for not wearing compulsory Islamic clothing.
In the crowded and popular Shibuya Scramble Square Central Tokyo, close to a 100 Iranians and activists from different organizations gathered to show their support and demanded freedom for all women in Iran.
Most of the women came bareheaded, others wore colorful veils and some wore their regional traditional dress. A group of several people present at the rally displayed portraits of the son of Iran’s former Shah.
Protests in Iran have spread after the 22-yer-old woman, Mahsa Amini, from the Kurdistan region died after being taken into custody by vice police for not complying with the religious dress code. The Iranian government has denied accusations that she was beaten to death by police and claim that she had underlying health problems which caused her to collapse.
“She died at a hospital days later despite intensive medical care and resuscitation efforts,” said government sources.
Demonstrations spread in some parts of the world denouncing the Iranian government and “its oppression against women”, but Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said the United States and the United Kingdom were “directly” involved in the recent riots across the country.
“Dozens of terrorists affiliated with the Zionist regime and anti-revolution groups have been detained during the recent days of unrest,” the ministry said in a Friday statement.
But Tokyo demonstrators said “the totalitarian regime in the Iran Islamic Republic is killing Iranians seeking freedom, so it can continue its dictatorship.”
From a loudspeaker, a protestor shouted, “Today, the Iranian government is trying to suppress protests for the rights of Iranians by force to prove its legitimacy.”
At present, the Iran Islamic Republic is not representative of the Iranian people, so we strongly condemn any talks or initiatives. “We want freedom for all Iranians,” she said.
Protestors also shouted slogans like “Bye Bye Islamic Republic.”