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By Khadijah Ihsan – Student Journalist

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi.

This has become the motto of the Mahsa Amini protests in Iran.

On September 13th, Mahsa Amini was detained by Iran’s morality police, and later killed on September 16th – due to her not wearing her hijab correctly. This has led to the rise of protests, where women are removing their hijabs, burning them, and dancing while chanting the aforementioned “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi”. Iran is under a theocratic rule, one centered around Islam, while their society is patriarchal. Due to this, the women are severely oppressed, however, even as they are protesting against the legally mandated law to wear a hijab, the government is ignoring them, sending out riot police. As of September 26th, the 10th day of protests, there have been 41-57 fatalities. 

While it all started with the immoral death of Mahsa Amini. Police said she had suffered a heart attack, while witnesses stated she was severely beaten and that was the “real” cause. Now there are other various protest reasons. The previously mentioned protests against hijabs, as well as protests against the crippling economy, price gouging, internet censorship, political corruption, unemployment, etc. The voices of the Iranian people are being muted out, ignored by the government, as made blatantly clear by statements from the president, himself.

This Iranian president being Ebrahim Raisi, has pledged to crack down on “those who oppose the country’s security and tranquility.” He has also stated this is the work of conspirators and has stated the death of Mahsa Amini is “tragic”, but the protests are unnecessary. Nonetheless, his words have not calmed down protestors, as they continue to chant
Zan, Zendegi, Azadi.

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