Iranian women protest restrictions, violence

Jasmine Rossiter, News

A painting in watercolor of Mahsa Amini.
(Jasmine Rossiter)

Since April 1983, wearing a hijab has been mandatory for women in Iran, four years after the Islamic Revolution. Under Islamic Republic Law, women who do not comply could be fined or imprisoned for up to 2 months. 

On Sept. 13, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was detained by the morality police in Iran, severely beaten, then taken to the Vozara Detention Centre where she died three days later. The charge was wearing her hijab incorrectly in public. 

“The incident was unfortunate for us, and we wish to never witness such incidents,” Greater Tehran Police Commander Hossein Rahimi said during a press briefing.

Officials ruled that Amini’s death was caused by a heart attack.

Suspicion has risen within liberal Iranian communities and around the world as a video circulated on social media shows her lying unconscious on a hospital bed with tubes in her mouth and nose, blood and bruising connecting from her eyes to her ears. 

Since then, thousands of Iranian women and people in neighboring countries have taken to the streets and demanded accountability for Amini’s death. They protest to put an end to violence and discrimination against women and the compulsory veiling for women.

At least eight individuals, including a woman and a 16-year-old girl, have been killed, dozens more injured and arrested.