Protests in Iran

Protests come after the death of Mahsa Amini

Daniel Lee

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Protests in Iran have brought attention to both the political and social rights of Iranian citizens

The protests come after the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who was taken by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab according to government standards. It was originally reported by the police that Amini had a heart attack, collapsed, and fell into a coma.

However, Iranians have speculated that Amini’s death was a result of police brutality, as eyewitness accounts claim that she had been severely beaten. In addition, Amini’s father claims that there had been bruises on her legs after catching a glimpse of her body, which he was not given permission to see.

Protests began after Amini’s funeral on Sept. 17 in her home region of Kurdistan, and has since spread throughout the country. Despite denial by the police that Amini had suffered any harm during her time in custody, her death sparked outrage among Iranians, particularly the youth. 

Large numbers of young men and women, including university students, teenagers, and schoolchildren have been heavily involved in the protests. This has resulted in multiple raids in schools to arrest students for their participation.

The protestors advocate to overturn the hijab laws that led to the arrest of Amini, which is part of a broader cause to lessen religious involvement in Iranian law. These laws are viewed by activists as political and social oppression by an authoritative regime.

The Iranian government has insisted that Amini had died of a heart attack and was never beaten by police. Closed-circuit footage was released of Amini collapsing on the ground, yet her family claims that she had never had a history of heart problems.

The protests have led to violent responses by the police, resulting in the deaths of at least 40 people, though some human rights groups report the numbers to be in the hundreds. At least six hundred people have been arrested and over seven hundred have been injured in the Kurish province alone.

The response has not ceased demonstrations from being carried out. The Iranian people are actively risking their lives by advocating for change.