Iranians Protest for Women's Rights
Mahsa Amini was a 22-year-old woman who was killed in Iran in Tehran on the 13th of September because supposedly her hijab wasn't being worn the “appropriate way.” Amini was taken to a “re-education center” to reteach her the “proper” ways to wear a hijab by Iran's morality police, Gasht-e-Ershad. They enforce a strict dress code in the country. She died not long after in the Iranian authorities’ care by falling into a coma and having a “heart attack.” Her father, Amjad Amini stated that he was repeatedly prevented from seeing his daughter’s body after her death. He said that “I wanted to see my daughter, but they wouldn't let me in.'' Mr. Amini only saw his daughter's body after it had been wrapped for her burial. Only her feet and face were visible. Mr. Amini said that there were bruises on both her feet and face. The police have insisted there was no physical contact between Amini and the officers. Clearly, Mahsa Amini didn't die of a heart attack, instead, she had been beaten to death. “Iranian authorities said (Amini) died of a heart attack, and claimed her death was from natural causes. However, some reports suggested that Amini’s death was a result of alleged torture and ill-treatment” said the United Nations High Commissioner. This wasn't the only incident in Iran. On September 24, Hadis Najafi was shot 6 times in the chest, face, and neck. Her final moments were caught on camera when she was tying her hair up and stepping into protest for Mahsa Amini. This video spread across the internet at a rapid pace which many claim symbolizes the repression in Iran and protests that have been sweeping the country since then.
In protest of Mahsa Amini’s death, women in Iran are risking everything by burning their hijabs. This can be seen as a symbol of freedom since they are burning the objects of their oppression. In addition to this, women are cutting their hair in support of Mahsa Amini. People in Iran and around the world are finally coming together to stand in support of Iranian women's rights and equality. Iran’s inability to drown out the determined voices of the Iranian people has led them to turn to violence, arrests, internet shutdowns, and murder. At least 1,200 have been arrested in connection to the protests. Dozens of protestors have been reportedly killed in the resulting clashes with security forces. It's an extremely sad situation going on in Iran right now. The death toll is increasing every day by Iran's government and the protests.
The Iranian authorities have blocked internet access in the country until the protests end. The shutting down of the internet in Iran has stopped the dissemination of information out of Iran, making it nearly impossible to see how the government is responding to the protests. The sooner the word gets out, the easier it will be for the Iranian people to make a change about how women in Iran are being treated.