Protests in Iran Continue Over Morality Police
(ConservativeHub.com) – Iran’s ultra-conservative regime is cracking down on a wave of protests sweeping the country after the death of a young woman in a police station. The outcries have lasted more than two weeks, and many others have suffered similar fates.
On September 13, Iran’s Guidance Patrol, the country’s so-called “morality police,” arrested 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman, in Tehran, the country’s capital. Her “crime” was not wearing a hijab to cover her hair. Authorities handed her over to the Moral Security Police, who told her family they would release her in an hour after a lecture on morality. Yet, when her brother went to the police station two hours later, authorities told him she had suffered a heart attack and brain seizure. After two days in a coma, she died in a hospital on September 16.
The Iranian government claims Amini had a history of heart disease and had surgery to remove a brain tumor as a child. However, her father and former classmates say she never had any sort of surgery, and other detainees claim the morality police viciously beat her. A medical scan obtained by hackers showed she had a fractured skull when she reached the hospital, according to Iran International.
Iranians Protest Against “Morality Police”
Within hours of Amini’s death, protests against the unpopular morality police began spreading across Tehran, followed by dozens of other cities. Women cut their hair in the streets to protest the increasingly unpopular law mandating all women wear a hijab in public. The security forces reportedly reacted brutally, attacking protesters with tear gas, nightsticks, birdshot, and sometimes live rounds. But, the protests have continued. The Iran Human Rights organization reports that as of September 30, 83 people had been killed in the protests. However, Amnesty International recently reported around 52 deaths.
Several days after Amini’s death, Iran started shutting down access to social media and blocking internet service in Kurdish-majority areas. According to Reuters, on September 28, President Ebrahim Raisi said Amini’s death had “saddened” everyone in Iran, but he warned that “chaos” was not tolerable. Still, the protests have turned against the Islamic regime, with crowds chanting, “Death to the dictator!” and calling for the downfall of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The End of an Era?
Khamenei and Raisi might survive this wave of protests, but could the writing be on the wall for the Islamic Republic of Iran? According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, polling suggests many Iranians want to live in a secular country without hijab requirements. These latest protests have run for around two weeks, and even conservatives are reportedly protesting against the morality police’s enforcement of the rules.
While riot police are out in force, reports suggest the Guidance Patrol has vanished from Tehran’s streets since the protests began. Iran’s hardliners are trying to hold back a demographic wave. But is their dam slowly crumbling?
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