It has been a year since the tragic death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died while in police custody in Iran. She was arrested by morality police for allegedly violating Iran’s mandatory Islamic dress code. Her death triggered widespread protests across the country, marking some of the most significant political turmoil since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Mahsa Amini, who usually avoided politics and kept to herself, was arrested when she left a train station in Tehran. Her family claimed that she died due to physical abuse while in custody, but Iranian authorities said it was due to pre-existing medical issues, raising suspicions.
Protests erupted nationwide, starting at her funeral in Saqez, with demonstrators demanding justice and chanting slogans like “Woman, life, freedom.” The protests quickly turned into broader anti-government demonstrations, targeting symbols of the Islamic Republic and calling for an end to the oppressive dress code for women.
Women played a vital role in these protests, defying the hijab law by removing and burning headscarves. The demonstrations were especially intense in regions with ethnic minority populations that have long faced discrimination.
The Iranian government responded with a harsh crackdown, using security forces armed with tear gas, clubs, and even live ammunition. Rights groups reported over 500 deaths, including 71 minors, hundreds injured, and thousands detained. Iran executed seven individuals linked to the protests.
Since Mahsa Amini’s death, morality police have returned to the streets, and surveillance cameras were installed to identify and punish women who defy the dress code. Authorities ordered businesses to deny services to unveiled women, temporarily closing many. The Iranian parliament is considering stricter penalties for those violating the dress code.
Re-reported from the article originally published in NDTV