By C. Paixão
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, was detained by the “morality police” and killed in police custody for not wearing her hijab properly. Since mid-September, when Amini was killed, Iran has been subject to numerous protests against the regime. Protests against her death have been taking place across Iran, ranging from strikes and marches on the streets to “crimes against morality”, such as women shaving their heads to defy the system and those responsible for the killing.
Protesters in Iran have called for a three-day economic strike this week, despite conflicting reports suggesting that the country's "morality police" had been shut down. The United States claims, Iranian leadership has locked itself into a "vicious cycle" which has consequently cut off from its own people and in an international scale. The question raises pressure on Iranian authorities after the attorney general announced this weekend that the morality police had been shut down.
These protests have become a threat to the population with many getting injured or killed as a result. Hasti Narouei, a 7-year-old-girl from the Baluch community, was in Zahedan with her grandma for Friday prayers on September 30. Security personnel respond to a demonstration by shooting into the crowd, according to social media footage from the day. According to local activists, police forces threw a tear gas canister, which struck Hasti on the head. She died of suffocation. She was the only daughter of her parents. She has two brothers and was only a week away from her first day of school. According to Amnesty International, at least 66 people were killed the day Hasti died, including ten children from the Baluchi minority. It was the bloodiest day on record since protests began. It has been therefore named "Bloody Friday" by activists.
"If I don't go out and protest, who else will?" Minoo Majidi's final remarks to her family before being shot by security agents on the streets of Kermanshah, in western Iran. Majidi, who was 62 years old, was shot with 167 rifle pellets and died on her way to the hospital, according to her daughter. Following her death, her daughter, Roya Piraei, shared an Instagram post; an image where she appears near her mother's grave and with her head shaven, holding her own hair in sadness and defiance. It rapidly became popular. "I knew I couldn't speak out. This is all I could do to show how cruel this system is" Roya told BBC 100 Women. "I believe that what's happening in Iran is not a protest anymore. It started with a protest, but a revolution is taking shape," says Roya, on another occasion.
Government officials also stated on Saturday that the state was reconsidering the law governing obligatory hijab, which was one of the causes that spurred the 10-week-long protests. As of Saturday, the activist HRANA news agency reported that 470 people had been killed, including 64 minors.
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