Anti-Hijab Protests Continue To Rock Iran

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Widespread outrage, agitations against death of young woman in custody

Protests against the strictly enforced Islamic dress have erupted across Iran in recent days after the death of a 22-year-old woman at the hands of the Moral Police (Hijab Police).

The death of Mehsa Amini, who was allegedly detained because of her loose headscarf or hijab, the death of Mehsa through possible beatings while in custody has sparked bold protests.

The AP takes a look at the reasons and future of the protests. According to which some women in the street demonstrations tore the mandatory headscarf (hijab) and waved it in the air in protest. The videos show two women putting their hijabs on fire. Another women is seen cutting her hair in protest.

In some demonstrations, protesters clashed with police and thick clouds of tear gas were seen in the capital, Tehran. The motorcycle-riding forces chased the protesters and beat them up in the clubs.

Volunteers of the Revolutionary Guards, a paramilitary armed guard, have violently crushed protests against water rights and the country’s economy in the past. Yet some protesters are chanting ‘death to the dictator’, targeting both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s theocracy, despite the prospect of arrest, imprisonment and execution.

What is the reason for the protests in Iran?

Iran’s moral police arrested Mehsa Amini on September 13 in Tehran, where she was traveling from her hometown in the country’s western Kurdish region. She collapsed in a police station and died three days later.

The police detained her for wearing hijab too loosely. In Iran, women are required to wear a headscarf that completely covers their hair in public. Only Afghanistan under the Taliban regime is now actively enforcing a similar law. Saudi Arabia has now withdrawn these laws in recent years.

Amini’s family says he had no heart problems and was denied access to the body before burial. Protests erupted after his funeral in the Kurdish city of Saqiz on Saturday and quickly spread to other parts of the country, including Tehran.

How are women treated in Iran?

Iranian women are allowed full access to education, work outside the home and hold public office, but are required to wear a specific dress code in public, including the hijab as well as long, loose dresses. Unmarried men and women are prohibited from meeting each other.

The above laws date back to the days after the 1979 counter-revolution, enforced by the Moral Police. Officially known as the Guidance Patrol, the force is deployed in public areas and consists of both men and women.

How did Iran respond to the protests?

Iranian leaders have announced an investigation into the circumstances of Amini’s death, accusing unnamed foreign countries and exiled opposition groups of fomenting unrest. This approach has been a common practice during protests in recent years.

Tehran’s governor said on Wednesday that authorities had arrested three foreign nationals during protests in the capital. However, the details of these three foreigners were not given. Iranian security forces have arrested at least 25 people and the governor of Kurdistan province says three people have been killed by armed groups in unrest linked to the protests. However, he also did not give details about the casualties.

Could the protests topple Iran’s government?

Iran’s ruling mullahs have faced several decades-old protests, eventually being crushed by brutal force.

The most serious challenge to the mullahs’ rule was the Green Movement, which emerged after the country’s disputed presidential election in 2009 and called for far-reaching reforms. Millions of Iranians took to the streets in this movement.

Iranian authorities responded with a brutal crackdown. The Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia opened fire on the protesters and began a series of arrests. Opposition leaders were put under house arrest.

Among the dead was a 27-year-old woman, Nida Agha Sultan, who became an icon of the protest movement after she was shot dead in a video seen by millions on social media.

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