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Death of Mahsa Amini: Iran protesters call for strike

Iran Shutting Down Morality Police

Death of Mahsa Amini: Iran protesters call for strike

NEW YORK ( – Protesters in Iran called today for a three-day strike this week, stepping up pressure on authorities after the public prosecutor said the morality police whose detention of a young woman triggered months of protests had been shut down. This is a broad timeline of the ongoing series of protests against the government of Iran, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini (Persian: مهسا امینی) on 16 September 2022. Amini had fallen into a coma after having been detained by the Guidance Patrol, allegedly for wearing an “improper” hijab—in violation of Iran’s mandatory hijab law—while visiting Tehran from Saqqez. The ongoing Mahsa Amini protests broke out following the death of Mahsa Amini while she was under arrest by the Guidance Patrol of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Reactions to her death and the following crackdown on protestors by law enforcement are both domestic and international. Deaths during the Mahsa Amini protests is a list of those people who were killed due to Iran’s nationwide protests of 2022, triggered by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian Jina Mahsa Amini on September 16, 2022 in Tehran. She died by beatings by the Islamic religious police, who had detained her for allegedly violating the state hijab law.[1]

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Mahsa Amini protests

An ongoing series of protests and civil unrest against the government of Iran began in Tehran on 16 September 2022[14] as a reaction to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini (Persian: مهسا امینی). She had been arrested by the Guidance Patrol for allegedly violating Iran’s mandatory hijab law by wearing her hijab “improperly” while visiting Tehran from Saqqez. According to eyewitnesses, Amini had been severely beaten by Guidance Patrol officers, an assertion denied by Iranian authorities.[15][16]

The protests quickly spread from Amini’s hometown of Saqqez to other cities in the province of Kurdistan as well as to other provinces within Iran.[17] In response to these demonstrations, the Iranian government implemented regional shutdowns of internet access beginning 19 September, followed by widespread internet blackouts along with nationwide restrictions on social media usage as the protests became more widespread.[18][19] Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the widespread unrest not only as “riots” but also as a “hybrid war” caused by foreign states and dissidents abroad.[20][21][22] Women, including schoolchildren, have played a key role in the demonstrations. In addition to demands for increased rights for women, the protests have demanded the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, setting them apart from previous major protest movements in Iran, which have focused on election results or economic woes.[23] The protests have been described by The Guardian as the biggest threat to the government of Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.[24] Unlike the 2019–2020 protests, the 2022 protests were “nationwide, spread across social classes, universities, the streets [and] schools”.[24]

According to the non-profit organization Iran Human Rights, as of 29 November 2022 at least 448 people, including 60 minors,[9] had been killed as a result of the government’s intervention in the protests, which has involved the use of tear gas and gunfire,[25][26][27] making the protests the deadliest since the 2019–2020 protests that resulted in more than 1,500 fatalities.[28] This response to the protests was widely condemned.

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Death of Mahsa Amini

On 16 September 2022, a 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini,[a] also known as Jina Amini,[b][1] died in a hospital in Tehran, Iran, under suspicious circumstances. The Guidance Patrol, the religious morality police of Iran’s government, arrested Amini for not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards. The Law Enforcement Command of Islamic Republic of Iran stated that before transferring her to the hospital, she had a heart attack at a police station, collapsed, and fell into a coma.[2][3] However, eyewitnesses, including women who were detained with Amini, reportedly said she was severely beaten, and that she died as a result of police brutality,[4][5][6] which was denied by Iranian authorities.[7] These assertions, in addition to leaked medical scans,[8] led independent observers to believe Amini had had a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke.[9]

Amini’s death resulted in a series of protests, described by CNN as more widespread than the protests in 2009, 2017, and 2019,[10] and by The New York Times as the largest Iranian protests since at least 2009.[11] Some female demonstrators removed their hijab or publicly cut their hair as acts of protest.[12] By the start of November 2022, Iran Human Rights reported that at least 304 people were killed by security forces confronting protests across the country;[13][14][15] Amnesty International reported that Iranian security forces were, in some cases, firing into groups with live ammunition, and in other cases were killing protesters by beating them with batons.[16]