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Friday, September 30, 2022

Iranian women cut their hair in anger after death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini

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Iranian women are cutting their hair in droves to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died early last week after she was arrested for allegedly failing to comply with Iranian rules that require a woman to cover her head.

Amini was violently arrested by the vice squad early last week, after which she was assaulted in a police van, according to eyewitnesses. The police contradict this and state that the woman had a heart attack when she was taken to the police station to be ‘educated’. Amini was taken to hospital where she later died.

Protests have erupted in the country since her death. Women take to the streets to fight for their freedom. Hundreds of protesters gathered at Tehran University on Sunday. According to videos online, they are screaming “woman, life, freedom” .

Since last weekend, women have started a new form of protest; they are massively cutting their hair short as a tribute to Amini and posting it online with the hashtag Masha Amini. The well-known Iranian actress Anahita Hemmati also decided to shave her head in protest. “Me or my daughter could be the same as what happened to Mahsa Amini.”

Women have been required to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes since the 1979 Iranian revolution. In recent months, Iranian human rights activists have called on women to take off their hijabs in public areas to defend their own rights. However, this is a violation of the Islamic dress code and is considered ‘immoral behaviour’. Not wearing a hijab or not wearing it correctly can lead to a heavy-handed arrest.

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