Iran protests enter third week despite internet restrictions and severe repression

Anti-government protests have entered their third week in Iran despite strict internet restrictions and heavy repression that human rights groups have said they have carried out. Dozens killed.

The videos were posted on Social media Protests erupted in cities across Iran on Friday and Saturday nights, with students chanting at several universities such as “death to the dictator!

other forms of civil disobedience, such as residents chanting from rooftops, drivers honking their horns in unison, and public figures He spoke publicly about the protesters popping up.

On Saturday, solidarity rallies took place around the world, including in Rome, London, Frankfurt and Seoul.

The protests erupted after the September 16 killing of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained for allegedly not covering her hair properly. She later died in the custody of the Iranian morality police.

While it is difficult to gauge the extent of the protests given the severe restrictions on the internet in Iran, Hadi Ghaemi, director of Center for Human Rights in IranAn independent New York-based organization said the protests were “certainly going on”.

He referred to a “bloodbath” on Friday in the southeastern city of Zahedan, where at least 19 people were He was reportedly killed After a confrontation between protesters and police. He said the protests were directly linked to Amini and the police chief’s rape of a 15-year-old girl.

As in the days prior to the protests, recent videos show that many protesters as well Women.

They drove and marched in demonstrations, and in defiance of the strict morality laws of the Islamic regime, they cut their hair in public and danced with their bare locks.

“We constantly receive a lot of videos that show women are not afraid,” said Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and activist who fled Iran in 2009 and now resides in New York. “They march fearlessly towards the security forces. It seems that this time the people have made up their minds. They say enough is enough, we are tired of the Islamic Republic, and we want to get rid of it.”

These days, Alinejad spends day and night posting photos of protests and other acts of defiance on social media. Millions of followers. The Iranian regime has made it a crime for Iranians to send her videos. I also made her a target, even in New York City, where she spoke to CBS News from an FBI bunker. But she said she was not afraid.

“My real leaders are these women and men inside Iran,” she said. “I’m not doing anything, just using my freedom in the United States, echoing their voices.”

In recent years, women in Iran have participated in other nationwide protests. But this time, the spark was the murder of a woman, and journalist Nilofar Hamidi of Sharq newspaper published the story. She was arrested and placed in solitary confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Hamidi is one of at least 19 journalists – including seven women – who have been detained across the country since the protests began, according to him. Reporters Without Borders. (The Center for Human Rights in Iran puts the number in 25 or higher.)

“This is the first time that so many women, shoulder to shoulder with men, have burnt the veil,” said Allingaid, who runs an online campaign hidden freedomSharing pictures of girls and women in Iran violating the hijab rules.[The hijab] They are the mainstay of the Islamic Republic, so they believe very strongly that by burning the veil, they are actually rocking the system.”

In the decades leading up to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, women on the streets of Iran wore headscarves and headscarves The latest western fashion. But soon after the revolution, the new Islamic regime ruled that women – and girls at a young age – must cover their hair and bodies in public. Hardliners have declared that the veil will protect women’s honor, but for many protesters, it is a symbol of oppression.

Azadeh Borzand, co-founder of a US-based company, says women who are demonstrating want to have the choice of whether or not to wear a headscarf. Siamak Borzand FoundationPromoting freedom of expression in Iran.

“It basically has to do with women feeling humiliated and feeling stressed out to do something they may or may not want to do,” said Borzand, a doctoral researcher at University College London who focuses on women’s activism in Iran.

She said that while Iranian women have been pushing for legal reforms for years, little has been achieved. She said that women are present in society, particularly in higher education, but family and labor laws remain highly discriminatory towards women, as are norms and practices.

However, Borzand noted that the protests united Iranians across different ages, ethnicities and cities. Demonstrators are not only demanding women’s rights, but also political repression, corruption, Iran’s battered economy and the climate crisis caused by mismanagement.

Alinejad wants Western countries to cut ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran and “recognize … the Iranian uprising.”

She said the young Iranians demonstrating in the streets believe that “history will judge those democratic countries that can help us but decided to help our killers,” adding, “They say…”We are ready to die for Iran’s future, in order to have a better country to live in. “.

A teacher, who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity, said she took her daughter to protest twice in Tehran.

“For 43 years we have lived and slept in such fear that we are used to it,” she said. “But now we are no longer afraid.”

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