Cory Jennings- DuBois | News Editor
On September 13, 2022, Mahsa Amini was going about her daily routine when she was stopped and arrested by the Guidance Patrol, otherwise known as Irans religious Morality Police . Her arrest was due to her allegedly not wearing her headscarf in a way that follows government protocol, as that warrants a large-scale punishment for Iranian women. It was said that either before or while she was getting transferred, she suffered a heart attack and fell into a coma. Three days later, Mahsa Amini was announced dead.
Her death was claimed to have been due to underlying health concerns, but many seem to think otherwise. Amini was a healthy young girl, as her family and previous health records have stated, so there was no reason for her to die in such a sudden way. Amini’s family and friends, and now the people of Iran, believe that her death was caused by the Guidance Patrol. Unintentionally leaked medical scans done by independent companies have shown that her cause of death was likely from a cerebral hemorrhage, which is one of the leading symptoms of blunt-force trauma to the head.
The medical scans are not the only reason people have suspected that Mahsa Amini did not die from natural causes. Witnesses, including but not limited to the women she was detained with, reported that Amini was beaten by the officials, and that it was very likely that her death was a result of police brutality. This would not be suprising, as police brutality is a prominent issue everywhere, and her being a woman could have given the Morality Police of Iran all the motivation they needed to make a point within their ranks.
Police brutality, especially towards women, is very common in Iran. Their government is incredibly religious and has interwoven sexism throughout. Their laws are very strict- citizens could get arrested for things as little as being seen in the wrong type of clothes. They are very suspicious as well, and many times there has not needed to be sufficient evidence to make an arrest.
These issues have cause much turmoil within the people of Iran, and the death of Mahsa Amini has given protesters a platform to make their qualms known. Protests have ranged from the blatantly sexist and racist laws to the econimic crisis’ that the country has been in. These protests are heavily attended, and do not stop as soon as they disperse. Women have been making statements everyday all day in ways that effect their everyday lives. Headscarf’s, a religious custom that has been implemented into law, are being burned. Women are cutting their hair, which is also against the laws of certain religions as well as the country.
What is being combated against these brave acts of protest, though, is more police violence. Abolfazl Adinezadeh, a 17 year old who skipped his classes on October 8th to attend the anti-government protests, was shot dead. 16 year old Asra Panahi refused to sing the pro-regime anthem in school, and was beaten and killed shortly after. Sarina Esmaeilzadeh, another lively 16 year old, died by police violence while attending a protest.
It is clear how Iran has decided to handle these protests: violently and without care for the lives of it’s citizens. Spreading awareness of this turmoil is critical, because even though the United States and other countries may seem removed from the situation, there are things that can be done to aid these protesters and make the quality of life fair and enjoyable for them.