“In Iran in 2022, the obligation to wear the veil is absurd and humiliating violence”

AndHe was visiting the capital with his parents and brother. Autumn is a good season in Tehran. We are moving away from the summer furnace and the great cold is still far away. She was 22, she was not interested in politics, rather in the singers of the time. Mahsa Amini was from the small town of Saqqez, in Iranian Kurdistan (northwest), a socially conservative region.

That morning of September 13 he had taken the subway to central Tehran and was walking along a park. She wore her “Islamic” veil: the theocracy in power has imposed it since 1983. Passing by, a van of the moral police calls the young woman: her veil is worn incorrectly, perhaps too far back. Mahsa Amini is boarded and then taken to a police station. A few hours later, she is transported to the hospital, in a deep coma. She died on September 16th. She is buried in Saqqez on the 17th. There was no autopsy. Died from a lock of hair, in the splendor of his 22 years?

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The authorities evoke a heart problem. Her parents, who came to the hospital, are sure she was beaten. They speak of streaks of blood running down his temples. In their brutal simplicity, these are the facts. But this inexplicable death, if not the one following an arrest for “improperly” worn scarf, this death of a young woman who, until this autumn morning, seemed in good health, will trigger the storm. Dictatorships are always surprised. The moment comes when the little news at the foot of the page, just one infamy among many others, turns into a detonator: the overflow that multiplies the courage of a part of the population tenfold and causes the explosion. The regime is as challenged as it has rarely been.

days of rage

For twenty days, in the four corners of the country, Iranians, women and men, have been demonstrating by the thousands. Schoolgirls, female students, Iranian women burn the “veil” in the middle of the street. In more conservative regions, they have free speech and hair. Universities mobilize and, here and there, strikes break out. This young man, born under the Islamic regime, defies the violence of a repressive machine that does not hesitate to shoot in the crowd and disfigure teenagers with batons. The dead are in the tens, arrests in the thousands.

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In these days of anger, slogans have evolved. From the denunciation of the “Islamic” veil, we have passed to the condemnation of the “Islamic” regime. Never has a protest movement lasted so long since the Iranian revolution forty-three years ago.

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