Iran Protests: From a Spark to a Roaring Fire

Iran Protests: From a Spark to a Roaring Fire

Protests are overwhelming the Islamic Republic of Iran. Citizens have begun to burn down buildings as demonstrations are appearing across the country. While the country has always been able to suppress its citizens, something is different this time. Years of protests and oppression have finally caused the citizens to explode like a powder keg and the entire world is getting involved. 

History of Iranian Protests

Since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has experienced many protests and uprisings from its people. Over the years, the citizens of Iran have tried to stand up to societal and economic injustice. One of these long-standing issues has been against the veil. The hijab law was the country’s gateway into an Islamic state. However, there has always been strong resistance to it. 

While there have been many protests since Islamic Revolution, protests over the hijab law have become more intense since 2007. Over the years, people have protested the injustice that comes with enforcing the hijab law. Years of abuse and death at the hands of Morality Police have caused conflict between the people and the state. Yet, the government has managed to suppress the people.  However, the death of Mahsa Amini seems to be different this time around. 

Death of Mahsa Amini

The center of the recent protests is Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman that visited the capital, Tehran, with her family. On September 13th, Amini was arrested by the Guidance Patrol (Morality Police) at the entry of the Shahid Haghani Expressway. The young woman was arrested for violating the hijab law, which requires women to cover their hair. 

While being arrested, her brother was told that Amini would be taken to a detention center to be “educated” and released in an hour. Amini’s brother waited outside the police station, only to be told that his sister suffered “sudden heart failure.” Amini would be transferred to Kasra Hospital by ambulance and left in a coma for two days before she died. 

However, it was clear that Amini did not suffer from heart failure. Testimonies from women who were also being held stated that Amini was beaten, causing her to suffer a major brain injury. CT scans of the young woman’s skull showed a bone fracture, hemorrhaging, and brain edema. These are not consistent with the narrative that Iranian officials and the police have been stating. Mahsa Amini’s death spawned protests that originally started in front of the Karna Hospital and the family’s hometown, Saqez. Soon, the response came quickly and is widespread. 

Courage Against Injustice

Even as we are writing this, protests continue across the Islamic Republic. Protesters are burning their veils and cutting off their hair in solidarity against the cruel and tortuous death of Amini. Although the government has been trying to extinguish these protests by shutting down the internet and arresting/killing demonstrators, citizens are not backing down. These protests are different than the previous ones. 

Unlike the other protests over the decades, there is a stronger international response to Mahsa Amini’s death. Many countries have come out against the Iranian government, condemning the death of the young woman and demanding an independent investigation. Although the Republic has been trying to claim victimhood in the situation, it has not saved the Islamic country from being sanctioned by the United States government. Meanwhile, international organizations like Human Rights Watch, have demanded the removal of the hijab law for its human rights violations. 

Furthermore, the Iranian government continues to take the lives of innocent victims. One of these victims was a 10-year-old girl who was walking home before being shot in the back. The Iranian people are tired of the oppression of their government. Enough is enough.

From a Spark to a Roaring Fire

These protests are a build-up of oppression and abuse that the citizens of Iran have had to face. Each protest seemed to add to the collective courage that the people are gathering. Mahsa Amini’s horrible death was the spark that is causing a roaring fire across the country as citizens burn down government buildings. The resistance has always been there, but now it going to consume the entire nation. After 43 years, the world is seeing a revolution

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