They were called Hannaneh, Ghazaleh or Hadis … These Iranian women died for their freedom

According to the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), based in Oslo, a hundred people have been killed in Iran since September 16, the date of the death of Mahsa Amini, also 22, who was arrested in Tehran for “wearing inappropriate clothes” because of a veil that insufficiently covers her hair in the eyes of the moral police.

In a video recorded on her phone shortly before attending a demonstration in Iran, Hadis Najafi, 22, said she hoped that in a few years she could say she was “satisfied with having contributed to the change”. Killed in a demonstration in Karaj, near Tehran, on 21 September, she became, like many other women, one of the martyrs of the regime’s repression.

Amnesty International claims to have identified 52 of the people killed, five women and six children. Hadis Najafi was hit by fire at close range, with bullet wounds to her face, neck and chest, according to Amnesty.

What’s after this announcement

What’s after this announcement

Faced with anti-regime slogans and scenes of women tearing off their veils, mandatory in the Islamic Republic, the security forces reacted with the use of lethal force that raises the question of intent to kill, the organization estimates for the defense of human rights. “We have lost Hadis but we are not afraid of anything,” her sister said in a video recorded by the family.

“My daughter was killed for the veil, for Mahsa Amini,” adds her mother in this video.

What’s after this announcement

What’s after this announcement

No political commitment before the protests

The women killed in the repression had no known political commitment and took to the streets to participate in a mobilization that, according to testimonies from their relatives, seemed to offer them a glimmer of hope for the first time.

“Women have been at the forefront of this movement and the very first demonstration was organized by Kurdish women,” said Roya Boroumand, director of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center (ABC) in Washington, which fights for human rights in Iran.

The funeral of Mahsa Amini, in her hometown of Saqqez, in Iranian Kurdistan (north-west), gave rise to the first scenes of women taking off their veils, a taboo for the Islamic Republic.

The security forces “did not wait for the movement to lose control to shoot, adds Roya Boroumand.

Bare head

Minou Majidi, 62, was shot dead during a demonstration on 20 September in Kermanshah (northwest), according to the Kurdish human rights organization Hengaw, based in Norway.

In the images that have gone viral, one of her daughters poses by her grave with her head uncovered, her hair cut.

Ghazaleh Chelavi, 32, a mountaineering enthusiast, was shot dead on the same day in Amol, near the Caspian Sea (north), according to various communication circuits on social networks that posted videos of her funeral.

Also on September 20, 23-year-old Hannaneh Kia was killed in Nowshahr, in the same region, according to her family and activists. Two of her friends told Amnesty International that they shot her as she returned from a medical appointment.

Sarina Ismaïlzadeh, of Karaj, like Hadis Najafi, was only 16 when she died from truncheon blows to the head on September 23, Amnesty said.

Nika Shahkarami, also 16, went missing on September 20 after participating in a protest in Tehran, her aunt Atash Shahkarami said on social media.

It wasn’t until October 1 that the family were allowed to see his body, to bury it in his hometown of Khorramabad (west) on his 17th birthday, his aunt said.

However, according to the BBC in Persian and Iran Wire media, authorities secretly buried her on Monday in another village to prevent her funeral from triggering new demonstrations.

“It’s not over,” said Roya Boroumand. “As long as people take to the streets, they will continue to arrest and shoot them and the population has no other channels to express their displeasure.”

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