Protests are increasing, five days after Mahsa Amini was found dead in her prison cell in Tehran. The majority of these protests are peaceful, but in areas where the Kurdish minority lives, they have turned violent. The governor of the northwestern Kurdistan province announced on Tuesday that three people had died “suspiciously” during recent “illegal protests.”
In Sari, north of Tehran, large crowds cheered as women set their hijabs on fire in defiance of the stringent rules that led to Amini’s death.
BBC reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh tweeted on Tuesday night: In Kerman’s Azadi Square tonight, a woman sits on top of a utility box, takes off her headscarf, and cuts her hair as people chant “death to the dictator” on the fifth night of protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police.”
In Kerman’s Azadi Square tonight, a woman sits on top of a utility box, takes off her headscarf and cuts her hair as people chant “death to the dictator” on the fifth night of protests in Iran over the death of #MahsaAmini in custody of morality police.pic.twitter.com/3zZuZkkom1
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 20, 2022
Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22, on September 16 died in police custody in Tehran, most likely as a result of police brutality. Amini had been arrested by the modesty patrol, part of the police vice squad in charge of enforcing the public implementation of hijab regulations. Amini, who was visiting Tehran with her brother, was reportedly arrested for failure to comply with government hijab standards. Police then said that she suddenly went into heart failure at the station, fell on the floor, became comatose, and died in the hospital two days later.
Eyewitnesses said she was beaten by the modesty goons and her head hit the side of a police car. Leaked medical scans suggested she suffered cerebral hemorrhaging and a stroke.
Iranian Dr. Ali Shaed tweeted side by side a magazine cover showing the hijab and a picture of the comatose Mahsa Amini, noting these were the “Western image of Hijab vs Reality of Hijab in Islamic countries.”
— Dr. Ali Shahed ???? (@mlhobbyist) September 16, 2022
The Guardian suggested on Tuesday that Mahsa Amini’s death is “fast becoming another moment of reckoning for the Iranian regime that fears a popular revolt.”
“There are some signs that a groundswell could be taking shape: the first of its kind since 2009, when the death of another young woman sparked days of widespread unrest not seen since the Islamic Revolution in 1979,” The Guardian wrote. But the protest riots of 2009 were brutally suppressed by the Ayatollahs’ regime: hundreds were arrested in raids by police and the Basij militia. There were reports of killings and torture. Eventually, the protests subsided. Since then, they have been revived whenever the government has been unable to tend to people’s needs, as the economic situation in Iran went downhill. The regime eventually sends out the armed police to bash in some heads.