When is it enough?
On September 16, 2022, 22-year old Mahsa Amini died in police custody in Iran. Three days before her death, Amini was arrested by the morality police of Iran for violating Iran’s conservative dress code. She was in police custody for two hours until she was transported to the Kasra hospital where she was declared brain dead. Authorities have denied beating Amini and have stated that the cause of her death was sudden heart failure, but her family members have denied that she ever had any prior health conditions that could have led to heart failure. Amini’s sudden death has since resulted in worldwide protests against the Iranian government.
This incident happened in the capital city of Iran, Tehran. Some of us may recognize this name as the setting of the 10th grade graphic novel, Persepolis. Like the graphic novel displays, Iran has a very conservative and strict dress code, especially towards women. Unfortunately, Amini was arrested because authorities had accused her of not wearing her hijab properly. During her funeral, her mother stated, “Why, why? My daughter had a proper Hijab and her coat was long and black, but I don’t know why she was arrested.” Authorities told Amini’s family to not speak about her case, but that has not stopped the media from talking about it.
Many Iranians protesting Amini’s wrongful death have faced deadly violence, internet restrictions, and mass arrests. The protests started in September, and have continued to this day. In order to protest against the injustice, many young ladies have taken off their hijab and are waving them in Iranian schools and streets. They have also been chanting, “death to the director,” towards Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
It is estimated that around 215 people have been killed during the protests since they started. Not only are many people getting arrested, but children who protest are being taken to psychological institutions. As more and more protests continue to rise, violence also rises. Although violence is rising, Iranian women continue to stand together in order to fight injustice.