There is a widespread protest in Iran following the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by Iran's "morality police" for not covering her hair while wearing the hijab. Amini died on Friday after she fell into a coma - while she was in the custody of the country's infamous religious police in Tehran.

Amini's death fuelled anger and protests took over Tehran and other cities in Iran. Thousands of Iranian women took to the streets in the capital over the weekend and social media is abuzz with massive outrage. The police have responded to the peaceful protests with guns and tear gas shelling to disperse the crowds.

Burning hijabs; chopping off hair

Immoral morality: Young woman's death in Iran over hijab sparks row; protest turns into movement
Immoral morality: Young woman's death in Iran over hijab sparks row; protest turns into movement

Several videos have been shared on social media showing women taking off their hijabs and burning them. Furthermore, the women can be seen chopping off their locks in protest against the death of Amini, whose crime was only that her hair wasn't fully covered while she wore the hijab.

Protestors in huge numbers gathered around the University of Tehran on Sunday, shouting slogans "Woman, Life, Freedom", videos show. The hashtag #MahsaAmini became a digital movement and had nearly 2 million mentions on Twitter.

Many videos show women burning their hijabs and cutting their hair. Protesters who have taken to the streets of Tehran show hurling their hijabs in the air, symbolising their protest.

Some reports suggest many were injured as the local police used brute force to disperse the crowds. In one video, a young man seems to have sustained an injury to the head and was being rushed by another person. IBTimes was unable to authenticate the videos.

(Representational Image)Wikimedia Commons

What morality?

Iran's sharia law requires women to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes. This law applies to all women over the age of seven. The gender apartheid regime now faces flak as women in Iran say "we are fed up." But offenders face public rebuke, fines or even arrest.

Activists have urged women in recent months to part from forced hijab, challenging what the hardline rulers call an "immoral behaviour."