Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Ryma, Iranian activist, one year after the death of Mahsa Amini: “Women leave the house without a veil”

September 16th marks the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini the 22-year-old Iranian girl who died after being arrested for wearing the Islamic veil incorrectly. Her death marked a before and after in the fight for human rights in Iran and especially for women’s rights. Victoria Montaner brought the day’s inspiring story to Lantern.

The situation of women in Iran is truly dire. They are arrested, beaten and even killed for not covering their heads with a veil, but protests and fighting continue in the country. Ryma Sheermohammadi The Iranian activist reported that the death of Mahsa Amini marked a turning point in this struggle: “She was and is the symbol of a movement that later was directed against the hate propaganda of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” “It is a country whose people must recognize the equality of women.”

A year ago, many Iranians took to the streets with the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom,” and some women took off their veils and burned them in protest. It was the largest movement in the country in decades. They began with Mahsa Amini’s funeral in her hometown of Saghes in western Iran and quickly spread throughout the country.

At least 500 people died and more than 30,000 were arrested in these protests. Among them were the parents and relatives of the murdered young people. “They shot in the eyes of the protesters, at the genitals of women, they poisoned the students, they arrested thousands of people…” They left behind a time full of blood and much pain and suffering. The parents of these young people are in prison,” complains Ryma.

“Now women are accompanied by men”

Hundreds of videos can be found online of women cutting their hair or burning their veils, defying the regime and joining the protests. Ryma explained that they are not alone in this fight and that their brothers, fathers and husbands accompany them: “Today women are accompanied by men. Men who are willing to pay a high price, such as prison or execution, to bring about this change in society. “This time, Iranian society shouted in the streets that this was all worthless if there was no regime change.”

Many men are immediately missing, such as Mahsa Amini’s uncle or the parents of hundreds of prisoners. Now, a day after the first anniversary of his death, the government is threatening the country’s leading activists not to take to the streets tomorrow.:“There is a system of absolute control at work over the country’s well-known activists. They interrogate all the actors and people known for hours and make them sign a document saying that they will not go out on the streets tomorrow. If they do that, they already know what to expect.”

Meanwhile, the Iranian government has just passed a law making the hijab compulsory in the country. It expands penalties against women and girls who do not wear a veil in public spaces, and as Ryma says, the norm also gives legitimacy to Iranian citizens, allowing them to punish women even if the alleged act is a criminal offense at the time of the crime The police are not there. And although it is still awaiting approval, it is already being applied: “If they defend themselves or a family member reacts, they face flogging, expulsion from work, a fine or punishments like that of a woman who was sentenced to wash corpses from a wake for a year.”

“Women continue to take to the streets without veils”

Ryma points out that women still continue to defend their rights and freedoms, despite being aware of the possible consequences: “That’s what the government is doing, but Women continue to take to the streets without veils, men continue to defend them and many of them are serving prison sentences for defending the rights of these women and calls for a change of government.”.

“This change takes time, but it will come sooner or later. This movement is inspired by the famous phrase of a famous Iranian poet who said: “You can kill me, but.” “You will never be able to stop the process of women’s emancipation.”

For a year, Iranian authorities have cruelly persecuted and punished the people of Iran who courageously dare to challenge decades of oppression and inequality, especially women. This Saturday, September 16, marks a year since the death of Mahsa Amini, the young Iranian who became a symbol of the struggle.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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