Ebrahim Raisi, the president of Iran, said on Thursday that an investigation into the death of a young woman who prompted protests in the Islamic republic was necessary, but he also accused Western powers of being hypocritical for voicing their worries.
The priest reiterated a coroner’s decision that Mahsa Amini, 22, was not beaten at a news conference in New York, where he was in town for the UN General Assembly. Protesters had challenged the coroner’s conclusion.
“But I don’t want to rush to a conclusion,” Raisi said.
“If there is a party at fault, it certainly must be investigated. I contacted the family of the deceased at the very first opportunity and I assured them personally that we will continue steadfastly to investigate the incident,” he said.
Many female protesters claim that Amini passed away while in the custody of morality police who strictly enforce the clerical state’s dress code on women.
Raisi accused the West of having “double standards” when Washington placed restrictions on the police unit and pointed to police killings in the United States and provided data on the deaths of women in Britain.
“Why not call for the exact same thing for those who lose their lives at the hands of law enforcement and other agents throughout the West — Europe, North America, the United States of America?” he said.
“Those who suffer unjust beatings, why are there no investigations that follow up on them?”
In response to a query about internet restrictions in Iran, where at least 17 people have died in protests since Amini’s passing last week, Raisi declined to comment, although he did say he accepted nonviolent demonstrations.
(With inputs from agencies)
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