posted on 09/23/2022 06:00
Protests after the death of Mahsa Amini — the 22-year-old Iranian girl arrested by moral police on September 16 for wearing the hijab (Islamic veil) inappropriately — spread to more than 50 cities in Iran and were suppressed. with violence. As of this writing, 31 people had died during the demonstrations against the theocratic regime of the Ayatoltas. In the last six days, in a defiant gesture, women have posted photos on social media in which they appear to be cutting their hair. However, it was the videos of hijabs thrown into the fire that went viral on the internet.
Yesterday, the US Treasury Department blamed Iran’s moral police for Amini’s death and announced economic sanctions on the institution, on the grounds of “abuse and violence against Iranian women and violation of the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters”. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed to investigate the Amini case and accused the West of “hypocrisy” for exacerbating concerns. “It will certainly be investigated,” Raisi told reporters, noting that official reports ruled out police abuse.
One of the first Iranian women to speak out against wearing the hijab, in 2018, Maryam Shariatmadari, 37, was arrested and tortured before fleeing to Canada. In an interview with the Correio, the activist explained that, under sharia (Islamic law), women are legally required to cover their hair and neck when they are in public. “The removal of the hijab is an act of peaceful civil disobedience against an unjust law that violates basic human rights and the dignity of women,” she commented. “Iranians just want the basic right to choose. They are being killed by those who call themselves police. We need help.”
Director of the NGO Iran Human Rights (in Oslo), Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam told the report that the protests against the death of Mahsa Amini were the last straw that overflowed the body of water. “Iranians have lived under this regime for over 40 years. Some of the people who took to the streets were born during the regime and identified with Mahsa. Most Iranian women were harassed by the moral police. They are afraid when they see a police car. The Mahsa murder made them so angry that they decided to speak out. They no longer care if the authorities are armed and will shoot at them,” said the Oslo-based activist.
For Amiry-Moghaddam, the Iranian women chose to burn the hijab as they understood it as a “symbol of the Iranians’ authority”. “The Islamic veil has become the regime itself. That’s why women are setting it on fire. It’s a way of showing their anger over more than four decades of oppression. dignity,” he noted.
The activist recalls that, unlike previous protests, the anger expressed by the Iranians seems much greater. “We have been following the situation in Iran for over 15 years. I have never seen the people so angry and so little fear. It is worth remembering that the Arab Spring began in Tunisia after a man killed himself. If the Iranian authorities are not successful in suppressing the protests, they will continue. We are concerned, as we know that the regime is capable of killing the greatest number of people. The internet has been blocked in much of Iran. We fear a bloodbath,” warned Amiry-Moghaddam.
credit: Peter Berntsen/AFP
“All the protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. However, the Iranian regime has deprived citizens of the most basic human rights for many years. The regime is not only a dictatorship that controls freedom of expression, but also interferes in the most deprived of people’s lives. Authorities decide what you should wear, what you should drink and eat. The combination of an oppressive, incompetent and corrupt regime makes people very nervous.”
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of the non-governmental organization Iran Human Rights
“Hundreds of thousands of Iranians are on the streets to obtain their rights. Living 43 years under a religious dictatorship has shown them that they have to earn these rights on the streets. hundreds of thousands of people. In 2019, they hacked the internet and killed over 1,500 people in just three days. Now, they do the same: they block the internet and murder citizens.”