By: Katie Travlos and Rebecca LaFalce
Mahsa Amini died in police custody in Tehran, Iran after being arrested by the ‘morality police’. Amini was arrested for breaking hijab rules by not correctly wearing her hijab in public. The morality police have been said to enforce rules of conservative Islamic modes of dress and behavior. These rules are obligatory modes of dress that include women covering their hair and their entire body except for the hands and face while in the presence of people of the opposite sex other than close family members.
It was said that Amini was wearing her hijab “in an improper way” which led to her arrest. Amini was reportedly arrested in her brother’s car while visiting the country’s capital. Amini, who was only twenty-two years old, supposedly died from suffering multiple blows to the head. However, police reject this claim and say she passed away from a heart attack. Now, women all over Iran are burning their hijabs and protesting this cruel injustice.
Why is this important? This is a humanitarian issue that is violently crossing the line of human rights. Many other protestors have been killed by the police through violence. It has been said that protesters have been shoved to the ground, have been beaten with police batons, had shots fired at them, and have tear gas sprayed. Amini and this movement have gathered national attention and shed light on Iran’s violent treatment of women.
During this cruel and brutal time, conveniently there is also an “internet blackout”. The Minister of Communications claims this is due to security reasons and discussions related to the recent events. The last time this occurred in Iran was during the mass protests in 2019 due to fuel price increases. The reason for this blackout is likely due to the worldwide support provided by people from the internet to Iranian women. During a troubling time like this, women need all the support they can get.
The question being asked by people all around the world is; how can I help? Here are a few ways that you can help the women of Iran. The NCRI Women’s Committee is the voice of Iranian women and fights. They fight to achieve gender equality in the country. Donations help support the community’s effort to fight for equal rights. Use your voice on social media. Though this seems like such a small thing, it makes such a large impact. Especially with the suppressed internet in Iran, we need to be the voices for these women.