The United States wants accountability for the death of an Iranian woman after she was arrested in Tehran last week for wearing an "improper" hijab, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said on Monday.
"Mahsa Amini’s death after injuries sustained while in police custody for wearing an 'improper' hijab is an appalling and egregious affront to human rights," the official said. "Our thoughts are with Mahsa’s family and loved ones."
"Women in Iran should have the right to wear what they want, free from violence or harassment. Iran must end its use of violence against women for exercising their fundamental freedoms," the official said.
"There must be accountability for Mahsa’s death."
Her death has sparked days of protests in Iran.
On Monday, demonstrators poured into Tehran’s Keshavarz Boulevard, a central thoroughfare, chanting “Death to the Dictator.” They also chanted against the police and damaged a police vehicle.
Videos circulating on social media showed a third day of demonstrations in Kurdish cities in western Iran as well as the northern city of Rasht and a university in the central city of Isfahan.
The morality police detained the 22-year-old Amini last Tuesday for not covering her hair with the headscarf, known as hijab, which is mandatory for Iranian women.
Police say she died of a heart attack and deny that she was mistreated. They released closed-circuit video footage last week purportedly showing the moment she collapsed. Her family says she had no history of heart trouble.