The death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman has triggered massive social uprisings and revolts in Iran. Approximately, 80 towns and cities in thirty-one provinces of Iran have been affected. There have been violent clashes between protestors, police, security forces and militia. More than forty-one people were killed and many arrested. Mahsa Amini was arrested on the 13th of September 2022 while leaving a metro station in Tehran with her brothers and relatives. Several other women were arrested along with her. The main reason behind her arrest and death is that they wore clothes that did not comply with state regulations. She was taken away in a police van.
According to the Iranian Police, who stated that she died due to “natural causes” is not supported by activists. They claim that she died due to a coma after she was struck with a fatal blow to the head. This incident has unleashed the anger and wrath of the Iranian populace who are deeply anguished as they are making several efforts to make ends meet and are frustrated by living under international sanctions, with no visible sign of improvement in the economy.
The condition of Iranian women is pitiable. They are heavily repressed by the “Gasht-e Ershad” which refers to the moral police of Iran; the Islamic Guidance Patrol. The basic regulations for women in Iran include loose-fitting dress, covering their hair with a headscarf known as Hijab along with wearing chadors which only expose their eyes required while entering some mosques.
The Iranian menfolk are also affected by these rules. Their female relatives were insulted and mistreated by the morality police. The protests which began in the Kurdish-dominated areas of Iran spread like wildfire to other regions of the country. Women are at the forefront of the protests followed by men.
The Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi has promised a thorough investigation into these matters. He also pledged to launch a “crackdown on those who oppose Iran’s tranquillity and security”. According to Tasmin (Iranian News Agency), more than 1200 people have been arrested and put in prison. According to Raisi, there has to be a clear distinction between protests and the disturbance of public order and security.
The issue is not limited to women, moral policing and Islamic mandates. The sorry state of the Iranian government has further intensified this agony of the common man. In the southern provinces and regions, people have burnt posters of Qassim Suleimani who was the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Corps Guard. In the capital Tehran, protestors are roaring with anti-regime slogans and have torched police stations.
The head of the Deutsche Welle Persian Service says that the demonstrators in Iran have torn off the posters of Khomeini and Khamenei (revolutionary leaders) and shouted slogans against the so-called “dictator” Ali Khamenei. The IRSG has called on the judiciary to prosecute people who are circulating false news and rumours.
The Iranian Government to save their country’s reputation and image has imposed certain rules and restrictions on the use of the Internet, social media and mobile phone operators have disrupted their services. The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkenstated that “it is clear that the Iranian Government is afraid of its people”
To sum up, Iran is gradually progressing on the path of turmoil. The country faces multiple issues like international sanctions and grave internal disturbances. The day is not far when the nation will fall prey to civil war such as in the case of Ethiopia and Somalia.