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The Destiny of Women in Iran: The Story of Mahsa Amini

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The Destiny of Women in Iran: The Story of Mahsa Amini

By Japhil Yila esq…

‘The Iranian regime kills women for trying to live freely. This is not just Iran’s problem; it’s the world’s problem. Do not look away. This denial of basic human rights is an affront to human dignity. Mahsa Amini cannot speak up anymore. The world should act in solidarity and amplify her voice and the voices of all Iranian women who dare to speak up for choice and democracy.’

                                                                                                                                                Shaparak Khorsandi

Mahsa Amini [aka] Jina Amini, born21, September 1999 and died 16, September 2022, under critical, suspicious and annoying circumstances in Tehran inthe hands of  Guidance patrol, the religious morality police of Iran’s government who arrested her for not properly wearing the hijab [religious modesty dressing ofcovering the body by women] particularly the head scarf, and was in tight jeans in accordance with government standards.  According to the law Enforcement Command of Islamic Republic of Iran, before transferring her to the hospital, she had a heart attack at the police station where she fell and collapsed. However, eyewitnesses, detained with her debunked that, and confessed that she died as a result of police brutality-that she was severely beaten which unavoidably led to her death. In corroborating that, a leaked medical scan later revealed she actually died as a result of cerebral hemorrhage or simply stroke.

Aftermath of the ugly incidence resulted in a series of protests more pronounced and widespread than previous protest of 1979, 1980, 2009, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Iran has the record of one of the most country with highest number of protests in the world. In spiting the government and out of annoyance, women in Iran in protest where seen removing their hijab, some cut off their hair as they conveyed their grievances. Over 304 were killed by the Iran security forces. According to Amnesty International, Iranian security forces fired live ammunition on protesters.

It all began when the Iranian government introduced the mandatory dress code for women, shortly after the revolution of 1979. Khomeini, the then Supreme leader decreed the hijab to be compulsory for all women in their workplace, government offices, markets etc. to him, without the hijab, a woman is just naked! His successor, Ali Khameni further reechoed that, the hijab does not prevent social, political, or academic activities at all. Women were not happy, they protested against the decree in March 1979, the International Women’s Day. In 1983 a penalty of 74 lashes was proscribed for default. However, practically, they hardly execute such barbaric sentence. They usually embrace other alternatives like heavy imprisonment term.

Read Also: Iran condemns UK decision to sanction morality police

However, and rather unfortunate for the government, In recent years women in that country are becoming liberal in dressing especially among young girls thereby provoking the men and hence, maddening the morality police into wanton arresting and detention of women with the slightest breach of the code. And as claimed, to educate, and compelled them to sign an undertaken to keep up with the rules and not to further break the rules in future before they are released.

Meanwhile, born into a Kurdish family in Saqqez, Kurdistan province in northwestern Iran. She attended Taleghani Girls’ High School Saqqez. She graduated in 2008 and aspired to be a lawyer in life. Before her untimely death, she was offered admission to read law. Against the allegations of the morality police, Amini was never involved in politics, but just a shy and reserved person who shun all form of activism. She was arrested on the 13 September, 2022 at the entry of Shahid Haghani expressway in Tehran and transferred to the custody of the moral security to undergo ‘briefing class?’ with the promise that she will be release in an hour later. But two hours after that, her brother was called and informed that she had had a heart attack and brain seizure at the police custody. Unfortunately for the morality police, eyewitnesses revealed that she was tortured when they bundled her into the police van down to the station whence the brutality continued. Obviously, she couldn’t stand the pressure and fainted, went into coma as they rushed her to Kasra hospital where she spent three days in coma and finally gave up the ghost!

Her dead body revealed bleeding from ear and sporting bruises under her eyes. ‘….Such symptoms do not match the reasons given by some authorities who declared the cause of death to be heart attack’ Doc. Hossein Karampour said. The Iranian government insisted that she died as a result of brain surgery she had when she was 5 and 8 years old. But her father Amyad Amini told BBC on the 22 Sep 22 that, ‘they are laying, she never had any medical condition all through her life’. Out of the desert came a letter on the 13th October, 2022 from over 800 members of the Iran’s Medical Council accusing the Head of Iran’s Medical Council of assisting in a government cover-up of the cause of Mahsa’s death.

Protest began on the 16 September 2022 in the province of Saqqez, Sanandej, Divandarreh, Baneh, Bijar and other neighbouring countries including the U.S. The government responded by shutting down internet services and further blame Israel and America for fueling the protest. On the 3rd Oct, the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the widespread unrest as ‘ riots’ and further labeled it as a foreign plot that was planned. That notwithstanding, women in the country demonstrates all over with slogans ‘ women, life, freedom’ ‘ death to the dictator’ etc. in his press briefing, president Ebrahim Raisi said the death of Mahsa will be pursued. Calling it a ‘tragic incident,’ but on the other hand said, ‘the chaos perpetrated is unacceptable.’ He further accused western countries of ‘double standard.’ Regarding human rights, he asked,‘ what about all the people killed by the American police? Did all these deaths get investigated? This is not only an unfortunate question, but a question that suggest tilting in justifying the killing of the poor Mahsa.

Well, interestingly, while the world were making fuss of the disaster, the leadership of Iran are cool with the development. And they should! Besides, Iran holds the world record of execution of women. From 2017 alone to date, an average of 15 women are executed par year. It’s also reported that no fewer than 164 women were executed between 2010 to 2021. Most of them were convicted on offence of murdering their husbands in self-defense as a result of in tolerated domestic violence. To date back, over 2000 were killed between 1981 to 1990. Recently a 25 years old woman, Soheila Abade and two others were executed for killing their husbands. During their trials, it was evidence that they were forced in self- defense to kill their husbands after repeated ‘family dispute’. Rather disheartening, evidence of domestic violence these women sustained during the period of abused was never taken into cognizance.

Now what is the essence of all these?

When you pushed the people to the wall with non-reflective rules and hardship, they would surely bounce back. For instance, during the protest, women were seen cutting off their hair and pulling off their hijabs in public. That’s a slap on the face of the government as well as a ridicule to their policies and powers. Furthermore, with all these threats in operation, we can simply conclude that worst revolution is around the corner, if the government of Iran insists on harassing women. And more humiliating is, the government will certainly suffer disdain and disrespect in the eyes of the world especially women. But they can do good by treating women like humans.

The Destiny of Women in Iran: The Story of Mahsa Amini

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