Women protesters have been at the forefront of escalating protests in Iran and have been burning headscarves after the death in custody of a woman detained for violating hijab laws.
The demonstrations continued for five successive nights and reached various towns and cities. Mahsa Amini died in hospital on Friday after spending three days in a coma.
In Sari, north of Tehran, large crowds cheered as women set their hijabs on fire in defiant acts of protest.
Ms Amini was arrested in the capital last week by Iran’s morality police, accused of violating the law that requires women to cover their hair with a hijab or headscarf, and their arms and legs with clothing. baggy
She fell into a coma shortly after collapsing in a detention centre.
There were reports that police beat Ms Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles, Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif said.
The police have denied that she was mistreated and said she suffered “sudden heart failure”. Ms Amini’s family has said she was fit and healthy.
The 22-year-old was from Kurdistan Province in western Iran, where three people were killed on Monday as security forces opened fire on protesters.
“Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority that ensures, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth,” Ms Nashif said.
She noted that the UN had received “numerous, and verified, videos of violent treatment of women” as morality police expanded their street patrols in recent months to crack down on those perceived to be wearing “loose hijab”.
“The authorities must stop targeting, harassing, and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules,” she added, calling for their repeal.
An aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei paid a visit to Ms Amini’s family on Monday and told them that “all institutions will take action to defend the rights that were violated”, state media reported.
Senior MP Jalal Rashidi Koochi criticised the morality police, saying the force was a “mistake” as it had only produced “loss and damage” for Iran.
Ms Nashif also condemned “the reported unnecessary or disproportionate use of force” against the thousands of people who have taken part in protests against the morality police and the hijab since Mahsa Amini’s death.
Hengaw, a Norway-based organisation that monitors human rights in predominantly Kurdish areas, said 38 people were injured on Saturday and Sunday when riot police fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas at protests in Saqez and Sanandaj, the capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province.
The group reported that three male protesters were shot and killed in clashes with security forces on Monday – one in Saqez and two others in the towns of Divandarreh and Dehgolan – as the unrest escalated. It had previously reported the second man’s death in Divandarreh, but relatives said he was in critical condition in hospital.