Iran is seeing violent protests since the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini. Amini was arrested by Iran's morality police on September 13 for flouting hijab rules. Amini was arrested by Iran's morality police on September 13 for flouting hijab rules. Amini was declared dead on September 16, after spending three days in a coma.
While the police said that she died of heart failure, her family called it torture in custody.
A national outrage: Amini's death has sparked a national outrage in Iran, where men and women both came out in large numbers to protest against the unjustified laws against women. The protest has now spread to 46 provinces in Iran and so far, 75 people, including policemen, have been killed.
How the women are protesting: The women in Iran have been publicly chopping off their hair and burning their hijabs to protest against the country's draconian laws. People are chanting 'Death to the Dictator', calling for the end of the three-decade rule of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader.
An Iranian artist, Bahadur Hadizadeh, created an animation of Tehran's Azadi Tower, with long hair blowing in the wind. It is a symbolic representation of the many ways the women have been protesting against the regime in Iran.
Inspired by the custodial death of #MahsaAmini over improper hijab, Iranian artist Bahadur Hadizadeh creates an animation of #Tehran's Azadi Tower adorned by dark hair blowing in the wind.#IranProtests#IranProtests2022#مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/fwrVnYVxUK— SAMRI (@SAMRIReports) September 27, 2022
What the government is saying: The Iran government has dismissed the protest as a 'foreign plot' rather than expression of public outrage over Mahsa Amini's death. There were also some pro-government marches in the city where the marchers chanted, "American mercenaries are fighting the religion."
Iran has said that the United States was supporting the rioters in the country and was attempting to destabilise the Islamic Republic.
"Washington is always trying to weaken Iran's stability and security although it has been unsuccessful," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani told Nour News, Dawn reported.
Kanani, on Instagram, condemned the position of US and UN on the death of Mahsa Amini and also advised the US to 'refrain from opportunism and the instrumental use of human rights'.
"Countries which are famous for their long history of war-mongering and violence around the world do not have the legitimacy to preach to others about human rights," Kanani wrote on Instagram.
Kanani also called the US out for ignoring the millions of people on the streets who are marching in support of the Iran system.
Crackdown on social media, WhatsApp: Soon after the protests swelled, Iran clamped down on social media to keep them from growing further. On September 21, social media and Internet use in Tehran was curtailed by the government.
Tesla and Starlink boss Elon Musk, in response, also tweeted 'Activating Starlink' to enable Internet connectivity in Iran.
Activating Starlink …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 23, 2022
Several protesters arrested: Several activists and journalists have been arrested by the police. Prominent freedom of speech campaigner Hossein Ronaghi was arrested this weekend along with filmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof.
More than 1,200 people, it is estimated, have been arrested so far. This crackdown against the protesters has also drawn criticism from other countries like Canada, which has threatened Iran with sanctions.
"We will implement sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities, including Iran's so-called morality police," Canada PM Justin Trudeau said in a news conference on September 26.
Along with this, Germany has also called on Iran to keep from using violence to quell the protests. The US has also imposed sanctions in Iran.
Most violent protest after 2019: The current protests in Iran are considered the worst uprising by the people after 2019, where around 1,500 people were killed while protesting against the rise in gasoline prices.