Protests continue in Iran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained on the grounds that she “did not comply with the dress code”.
In recent days, at least 3 people lost their lives in protests in different parts of the country. The slogans of “death to the moral police” and “women, life, freedom” were heard at the protests. As tensions rose in the streets, women took off their headscarves and burned flags. Police responded with tear gas to the protesters.
HOW DID IT GET TO THIS POINT IN IRAN?
Since the summer in Iran, women have been taking actions to oppose the headscarf ban. According to the Sharia laws that came into force in the country after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, all women were required to wear a headscarf and long, loose clothing in public places, and women who did not wear a headscarf were sentenced to fines and imprisonment.
However, it is stated that years after the revolution, government officials had difficulties in enforcing this law and that women’s clothing was not controlled equally throughout the country. Women started protests to oppose the oppression, and many men supported the women.
While all this was going on in the country, on September 13, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested at a metro station in Tehran, accused of violating moral laws that require women to completely cover their hair and arms.
After being detained, Amini fell into a coma and was hospitalized and died on September 16.
Eyewitnesses said they saw Amini beaten in a police van while being taken into custody.
Police claim that 22-year-old Amini died of a heart attack. His family claims that Amini’s body was bruised as a result of the torture.
Police also released footage of the incident, which showed Amini clutching her face and falling to the ground. Amini’s father said the footage was edited and his daughter had no prior health problems.
An Iranian health official also supported the family’s statements, saying that Amini died, most likely from a blow to the head.
WHY ARE THEY PROTESTING?
While anger at the political and social restrictions increased in the country, especially among the youth, the death of Amini deeply affected the Iranians.
People were angered when the authorities denied police involvement and demanded the prosecution of the officers in custody. There were calls for the abolition of the moral police and an end to the Sharia rule in Iran.
Many of the protests have been a sign of rebellion against the country’s strict conservative laws. Women took off their headscarves, started a haircut action on social media; Some men also supported it.
On the other hand, it is estimated that more than a thousand people lost their lives in clashes between security forces and protesters in Iran in 2020-2021.