Protests have reportedly erupted in more than a dozen provinces in Iran within the last week. Demonstrations across the nation have resulted in the deaths of at least five people and left at least 75 others injured. Nada Al-Nashif of the United Nations says the deaths were caused by the “violent response by [Iranian] security forces.” Tehran Governor Mohsen Mansouri claims that were attacking police, destroying public property and “trained to create disturbances in Tehran.”
Demonstrations around Iran were triggered by the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini. On September 13, members of Amini’s family say she was accused of wearing her hijab too loosely and arrested. While in police custody, members of Amini’s family say she was physically abused and fell into a coma. By Saturday, the 22-year-old was pronounced dead and a funeral was held. Authorities claim that Amini passed away due to heart issues, but Amini’s family says that they never received an autopsy and the 22-year-old had no history of heart issues.
News of Mahsa Amini’s death spread throughout the country and has reportedly sparked protests in the following provinces: Alborz, East Azerbaijan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Razavi Khorasan, Tehran and West Azerbaijan. Videos of the demonstrations show crowds burning hijab and tearing down pictures of political leaders.
“This is Iran today. [Iran is] a woman proudly burning the most visible symbol of religious dictatorship, compulsory hijab. Hijab police killed Mahsa Amini, but now there are millions of Mahsa in Iran who are shouting, ‘No,’ to force hijab [and] no to gender apartheid regime,” Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted.
Protests are expected to continue throughout the week as police presence and force increase.