On 16 September 2022, 22 year old Jina Mahsa Amini was killed by the morality police in Tehran, Iran leading to widespread protests and fights in Iran. Among the people protesting and fighting are the women, and the minorities, like the Kurds – a minority which Jina Mahsa Amini belonged to – but the protests/fights are widespread, and international organizations say there is protests in at least 16 of Iran’s 31 provinces, and that at least 50 people has been killed during the protests. Iranian media say that at least 35 people have been killed.
This is hardly the first time that there have been widespread protests in Iran, but this is larger than anything we have seen since 2009. As NY Times writes:
The largest anti-government protests in Iran since 2009 gathered strength on Saturday, spreading to as many as 80 cities, even as the authorities escalated a crackdown that has reportedly killed dozens of people and brought the arrests of prominent activists and journalists, according to rights groups and news media reports.
What is noteworthy about these protests, is that they are not limited to one group or location, but that they are widespread, and have even spread to religious and conservative cities like Mashhad and Qom. This means that the protests are taking a much wider hold than most of the former protests.
In other words, there is currently something major happening in Iran, and it is important that those of us living outside Iran, keep our eyes on the developments, and support the protesters. We need to keep a spotlight on the atrocities committed by the Iranian regime, and put as much pressure on them as we can. If you can, ask your politicians to speak out, participate in demonstrations, and support the protesters on social media.
A note about the name of the young woman, Jina Mahsa Amini. She is often referred to as just “Mahsa Amini”, but that is hiding her Kurdish heritage. Jina is her Kurdish name, which the Iranian government wouldn’t let her use. Thank you to Jino Victoria Doabi for explaining this. Jino is a friend of mine, who is a powerhouse in keeping Danes informed about what is happening in Iran, and explaining the background. Jino is a Kurd from Iran who came to Denmark when she was five, and who grew up in the same places as Jina Mahsa Amini. If you understand Danish, I highly recommend following Jino on Twitter and Instagram.