2022 Iranian Protests



Mahsa Amini Iran Protest Trafalgar Square protest

On September 16, 2022, Iranian woman Masha Amini died in a hospital in Tehran, Iran. Masha was only 22 years old when she was stopped by Iranian “morality police” for not wearing her hijab correctly three days prior to her death.

At the time of her arrest, mortality police informed her and her family that she would be going to a re education facility for an hour before she would be let go.

That did not happen; Masha ended up spending a total of three days in police custody before she died.

Masha collapsed while she was being held in a detention center and when she arrived at the hospital, the doctors could tell instantly that she had been severely beaten. Later that day, Iranian officials announced her death as a heart attack.

People were outraged by her passing all over the world. Prompting violent protests in Iran that as of now have killed over 80 and injured over 900 people.

However, the protests are not only in Iran. People all over the world have been protesting the death of Masha Amini as well as the police brutality Iranian protesters are experiencing.

Senior Melina Yazdani went to a protest in Shermans Oaks on Sunday, September 25.

When asked why she wanted to protest, Melina said, “The reason why I was interested in protesting is because I believe it was the best way to bring awareness to the problematic system in Iran. Although I don’t have time to explain the historical background of how the violent mistreatment started toward women in Iran, I can say that the issue revolves around the government. My goal with protesting here was to spread awareness and show my support for the Iranians that are protesting against the government. Since the Iranian government has taken the whole country’s internet away to prevent the information from spreading, we people in California are trying to use our voice to spread awareness of Iran’s government and the people’s fears. I hope all of our voices will be heard, that maybe Iran’s government will open their eyes, or at least bring in country’s that can make a difference.”

Now, a little background on the morality police and the hijab mandate.

The morality police are an element of the LEF. LEF stands for the Law Enforcement Forces of Iran. They roam the streets of Iran and arrest women for wearing the hijab inappropriately. To their standards, the “inappropriate” wear of a hijab entails that not all the hair is covered.

In Isalm, the Qur’an, the sacred religious book Muslims follow, says that women should cover their hair and body and only reveal it to certain people. Though it is stated in the Qur’an, it is never directly started that this practice is mandatory.

Every Muslim follows different Scholars to learn more about their religon and to get closer to their God. Depending on the Scholar people may follow, they may mandate the wearing of the hijab and loose-fitting clothing. However, there are also many that say it is not mandatory and women can work at their own pace and form their own relationship with God to determine if wearing these articles of clothing is right for them.

Unfortunately, Iranian government officials are not so lenient with this rule.

Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian government began the process of mandating the wearing of the hijab and in 1985, it became law.

One way women are protesting in Iran is by not wearing the hijab, showing officials they are not scared of their power.

Women are also cutting their hair short in public, since it is symbolic of covering their hair.

The situation in Iran is far from over, the protests are still ongoing. With internet access slowly being shut down over the country, it is up to protests elsewhere to continue bringing awareness to this situation.