Iranian women’s fight for right to life and freedom faces surveillance, internet shutdowns, violence and murders

زن، زندگی، آزادی

Zan. Zindagi. Azadi.
Woman. Life. Freedom.

Time and again, the authoritarian regimes and resulting violence remind us that women and gender-diverse individuals around the world do not own their bodies. It would be an understatement to say that the situation in Iran is alarming and concerns the entire world after the recent brutal murder of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, and the violence against women in the name of “morality”. The murder by the “morality police” of Amini led to a wave of protests within the country where countless women and allies took to the streets to peacefully demand their right to life and freedom.

The law that surveils women’s clothing, including making headscarves mandatory in the country, also gives the so-called morality police the unfettered powers to enforce the law within the country. Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman in Tehran was a victim of this enforcement when she was brutally beaten for allegedly not wearing the headscarf correctly, which landed her in the hospital where she went into coma and eventually died. Vague sexist laws drafted by authoritarian leaders rob women of their bodily autonomy, and the result is grave violations of human rights, disproportionate violence against already marginalised individuals, internet shutdowns, and increased surveillance on individuals through invasive technology, as seen in Iran and many other places around the world where status quo is challenged.

Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran who enjoys unfettered decision making authority since 1989, did not comment on the ongoing unprecedented protests against the killing of Amini in his recent speech on the 42nd anniversary of Iraq’s invasion of Iran on 21 September.

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Image: Illustration reads "Zan, Zindagi, Azadi", which translates to "Woman, Life, Freedom". Artwork by @innerjalz


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