Women all over the world are standing united after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died at the hands of the morality police for not wearing her hijab correctly. The Kurdish woman sparked an intense backlash that is still playing out as women oppose the strict regulations put on them. In early September, authorities revealed that they were testing facial recognition software to be used on the public. But it had nothing to do with men, the technology was designed to locate females who were breaking the rules around properly wearing a hijab. Now, with the death of Amini, protesters clashed with the morality police in Iran, overturning police vehicles, rioting, and even sending the law enforcement running.
With numerous Iranian cities overrun with protesters, women are pouring into the streets, ripping off their hijabs, and burning them. At the same time, the protesters chant about their right to be seen in public. And as mentioned above, this isn’t just happening in a few cities. In Turkey, women stood in solidarity outside of the Iranian embassy, cutting their hair with a sizable crowd behind them.
In Beirut, both Kurdish and Lebanese women rallied in the downtown district, once again, standing together and protesting the heinous death of Mahsa Amini. In New York, protesters grew agitated as they stood outside of the United Nations conference that was welcoming Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s hardline president.
The father of Mahsa recently spoke about how the doctors refused to let him see his daughter after her death. The officials claim that she died after suffering a heart attack, but her family is adamant that she had no history of medical problems. “They’re lying. They’re telling lies. Everything is a lie … no matter how much I begged, they wouldn’t let me see my daughter.”
While the protests and riots continue, the Iranian state government found itself at the center of a cyber attack this week as several sites went offline. The hacker group known as Anonymous claimed to be the ones behind the attack in a statement reading, “(Greetings) Citizens of Iran. This is a message from Anonymous to all Iran. We are here and we are with you. We support your determination for peace against brutality and massacres. We know that your determination stems not from vengeance, but from your longing for justice. All tyrants will fall before your courage. Long live free Iranian women.”
Although standing strong, so far, at least eight people have died in recent days as both protesters and the police refuse to back down. Amnesty International, a known human rights group detailed the violence, noting that eight “died from injuries sustained from security forces firing metal pellets at close range.”