In the News

Here's what's going on in Iran

On Sept. 16, Mahsa Amini died from suspicious injuries she sustained while in the custody of Iran's morality police. While the police claimed Mahsa died of a heart attack, her family said she died from repeated blows to the head. According to eyewitnesses, police had beaten her to death. Mahsa's death triggered protests in Iran (and around the world) that have continued for weeks.

Why was Mahsa Amini arrested?

The job of the Iranian "morality police" is to enforce the Islamic dress code in public spaces. According to the morality police, Mahsa had been wearing her hijab (a head covering sometimes worn by Muslim women) "incorrectly." Iran's head covering mandate states that if Iranian women show their hair in public, they face a fine and are enrolled in "re-education classes," which is supposedly where Mahsa was taken when she was arrested.


Why are people protesting?

Protestors are against Iran's mandatory head covering law and are fighting for the bodily autonomy of Iranian women (AKA the right of women to choose whether or not to wear hijab). During these protests, some women have burned their hijabs and cut their hair in opposition to the mandate. Since mid-September, more than 1,000 protestors have been detained and over 50 people have been killed.

How has the world reacted?

In an attempt to end the demonstrations, the Iranian government cut Internet access to many of the major cities in their country—as most protests are organized online. The United States has attempted to increase Internet access across Iran as a sign of support for the protests, but most of Iran's population is unable to access the resources.

Recently, President Biden spoke out on the side of the protestors and placed economic sanctions on Iranian leaders. Canada and the European Union have also placed sanctions on dozens of political figures in the country.

How can you help?

There are many organizations that are currently working to help women in Iran. If you're looking for a way to help, donating to these organizations is a great place to start. Amnesty International and the Center for Human Rights in Iran are both doing important work to support the protests.

And although retweeting isn't always the solution to injustice, in this case it is. An easy way to support the women of Iran is to spread their messages. Follow Iranian activists (find a list of them here), repost them and talk about them with your friends and family. The Iranian government may be attempting to silence the protestors, but you can be a part of making their voices heard.


Header image: @feminist
Slider image: @zumapress


by Aubrey Rhoadarmer | 10/11/2022