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WOMEN in Iran continue their peaceful but defiant protest against the Ayatollah’s regime that for almost 50 years now has forced them to cover their heads with a hijab. Since last week, women in Iran have ceased to fear the regime’s authorities and publicly burn their hijabs.
The demonstrations, which began on Iran’s university campuses, started after the murder of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini by Iranian “moral” (or religious) police, who violently beat her after she refused to wear the hijab. Amini’s brutal murder has caused outrage across the country and throughout the weekend, millions of women have taken to the streets across Iran’s major cities.
Amini’s murder has sparked outrage across Iran’s political and social spectrum. Even several clerics and regime supporters have called for the abolition of the religious police, responsible for policing the conduct of citizens.
Cientos de mujeres cantan y bailan, mientras queman su hiyab públicamente, en las calles de Irán. El valor de la libertad. Esto es histórico. Lo que están logrando las mujeres iraníes es inmenso, tiene que recorrer el mundo. pic.twitter.com/df0KuFdUke
— Agustín Antonetti (@agusantonetti) September 20, 2022
At the time, Iranian religious police claimed that Amini died of a heart attack, denying allegations that she suffered severe blows to the head while under arrest. Amini’s family reported in local media that Mahsa was in perfect health on the day of her death. Additionally, police refused to share the results of her autopsy and pressured the family to bury Mahsa in the middle of the night and threatened them to remain silent.
On Monday, thousands of women and men took to the streets of Tehran, and in a symbolic act, women burned their hijabs in an act of protest against the government. The protests have been especially fierce among female university students, who risk losing access to higher education if they are arrested by the police.
To disperse the protests, security forces have squirted protesters with pressurized water jets and fired shots to chase away the people and then beat them with batons, as several videos on social media show.
In Mahsa Amini’s home province of northwestern Kurdistan, protests have erupted since the young woman’s funeral on Saturday. According to human rights organizations, four people have been shot by police in three towns in Kurdistan. At least 85 people, including three children, have been injured in clashes with security forces.
Although Iran has experienced events in the past that have led to mass protests against theocracy, the protests over Amini’s assassination have led people to chant in the streets that it is time to put an end to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The protests, which began as a cry for freedom by women, have begun to reflect the unrest in the country as a result of economic hardship in the nation and oppressive rules imposed by the ayatollahs’ regime. In the past, the Iranian government has been determined to put down protests by sending in large deployments of security forces that are intended to injure, arrest and even kill protesters.
Many of the demonstrations now chant for the downfall of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his son Mojtaba, seen as his potential successor. In the northern Iranian city of Rasht, chants of “death to the dictator” and “death to the oppressor” were heard.
Economist, writer and liberal. With a focus on finance, the war on drugs, history, and geopolitics // Economista, escritor y liberal. Con enfoque en finanzas, guerra contra las drogas, historia y geopolítica