After the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini
Protest in Iran: That’s why many women around the world cut their hair
Mahsa Amini is only 22 years old. The young woman dies after being arrested by Iran’s moral police for improperly wearing her headscarf. Since then, many people around the world have been protesting to draw attention to their fate.
The protest in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini is getting bigger. According to media reports, thousands are taking to the streets to protest against the existing regime. Women wave their headscarves on the streets or burn them in public. In Iran, they are actually forbidden to show their hair. Minor violations are punished by the so-called moral police.
This is also the case with Mahsa Amini, who is said not to have worn her headscarf in accordance with the rules, as reported by the Tagesschau. The 22-year-old is taken into custody and dies a short time later in hospital. In the meantime, the government seems to be taking tougher measures. The internet appears to have been blocked by public authorities, according to human rights organization Hengaw and internet blocking observatory NetBlocks. Networks such as Whatsapp and Instagram were switched off on Wednesday, and mobile networks are now also affected, according to the observatory’s website. Twitter and Facebook have been blocked for a number of years.
The facts of what happened to Mahsa Amini have not yet been clarified. After her death, the police stated that she had died of heart failure. According to Amini’s family, her daughter was healthy. According to other reports, the 22-year-old was brain dead when she was in the hospital. It is therefore speculated that she was hit on the head with a heavy object. Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi rejected these allegations: “We have no report that the supervisory authorities beat this woman. We are aware of this incident, whether it took place or not,” he is quoted as saying by the daily news. “Basically, the vice squad has no means of hitting. That means they have no batons or other means.” There are reports that Amini had previously had health problems, the minister said, and that she had previously had head surgery. The authorities are investigating.
Protests are increasing
It started with women cutting their hair in solidarity with Mahsa Amini. Many videos are now circulating of women waving their headscarves at street demonstrations or even burning them. There are protests in big cities around the world, especially in front of the Iranian consulates. In Iran itself, the situation continues to deteriorate, not only because of the government’s strong intervention in the population’s communication channels. According to the Tagesschau, eight people have died in the protests, citing Iranian media and a local prosecutor. Some of these figures vary in other media reports, at the moment it is not possible to clarify which information is correct.
Videos of the riots are also piling up on the Internet, but in many cases it is not so easy to verify their authenticity. Again and again, demonstrators call for people to give the protest a voice and to help from outside. According to Iran expert Ali Fathollah Nejad, who is quoted in the Tagesschau, there have already been 2,200 protests in this six-month period alone. “We see a great deal of resentment among various social groups against the regime,” said Nejad.
on the political situation in the country
In 2021, the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi will take over as President. Many at the time were already expecting the vice squad to tighten the dress code for women, but nothing happened. As a result, many of them loosen their headscarves and move around more freely. At the beginning of this summer, however, the vice police cracked down again. Checks in cafés or on the street are increasing, women are being taken into police custody. Just like the late Mahsa Amini.
The International Society for Human Rights (IGfM) explains that women are severely disadvantaged in almost all areas of law by the Islamic legal system applied in Iran, the so-called Sharia, and are systematically deprived of their rights. Islamic law and rule in the Islamic Republic of Iran rests exclusively with male Islamic clerics. Classical Islamic law also categorically excludes equality. According to the IGfM, this applies to women and men as well as to Muslims, non-Muslims and the non-Muslims.
On April 1, 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran was founded. Previously, a revolutionary movement led by Ayatollah Khomeini had overthrown the old regime and called for new family law. Since then, the central position of power in the state has been occupied by a religious leader as the supreme legal scholar. This is appointed for life and has the last word in all state affairs. Among other things, he can even vote out the president. Changes in family law restricted, among other things, the right to divorce and the custody of divorced women for their children, the minimum age for marriage for girls was lowered to thirteen, then to nine, and polygamy was made legal for the male part of society explained. After taking power, Ayatollah Khomeini made the veiling of women under the chador the law on March 8, 1979, International Women’s Day, according to the IGfM website.
Source used: Deutsche Welle, Tagesschau, Netblocks, IGfM