On Friday, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed, three days after she was arrested in Tehran for allegedly violating the hijab law in Iran. Thousands of women have taken to the streets to protest her death since.
Allegedly, Mahsa Amini was wearing her hijab headscarf in an "improper" way, which sparked the "morality police" to arrest her and beat her. She suffered a fatal blow to the head and died a few days later. Many women have shown up in the streets to demonstrate their support for her senseless death, ripping off their hijab and burning them in fires.
Iranian Women Publicly Burn Hijabs in Protest after 22-Year-Old Woman Was Killed by "Morality Police"
Protests started in Kurdistan, Amini's home province, shortly after her funeral on Saturday. Four men in three cities were shot and killed, according to the Kurdistan Human Rights Group. 85 others were injured, and 200 were arrested. In the capital, Tehran, men and women chanted "we will fight and take our country back" while women removed their head scarves, waved the around, and even threw them into large bonfires.
“We are witnessing a nationwide reaction, really like a George Floyd moment for the national conscience that can no longer bear the violence and the logic of the ruling class in killing ordinary citizens,” Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, said.
In Rasht, a northern city of Iran, protestors were chanting "death to the dictator" while also ripping off and burning their head coverings. Police had to respond with tear gas.
"Mahsa Amini is one among countless victims of the Islamic Republic's war on women," Ghaemi said. "She was arrested under the guise of the state's forced-hijab law and died shortly after. The government is responsible for her death, and decades of women being harassed, detained and otherwise harmed under the guise of this discriminatory, inhuman law."
The exact number of protestors who have been killed hasn't been verified yet, but approximately 450 people were wounded and 500 arrested in the West Azerbaijan province.
The protests and riots have gained international attention as many women across the globe watch in horror as young Iranian women are subjected to such brutal treatment over a head covering.