Iran in turmoil over the killing of young woman in “morality police” custody

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From CODIR campaign for democratic rights in Iran.

Protests over the death of Mahsa Amini outside Tehran University on Monday
“The murder of Mahsa Amini is the trigger that has set off an unprecedented massive nationwide protest across Iran”, Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary of CODIR told the Morning Star. “The scale of this protest mobilisation is similar to that which shook Iran in November 2019 amidst protests against the sudden tripling in the price of petrol.”

The CODIR spokesperson confirmed that since last Friday when the news broke of the killing, in the custody of the “morality police”, of the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, the protest has become significantly wider and more intense. The bazaars in Iranian-Kurdistan have been shut in protest, while the streets of Tehran and other major cities have witnessed massive protest demonstrations in condemnation of the killing. “Protesters are now calling openly for transition from theocratic dictatorship to a national democratic republic guaranteeing human and democratic rights, as well as social justice. Since Sunday, major universities across Iran have been the scenes of demonstrations by students demanding a fundamental change in the political system in Iran.”

Women’s protests continued to sweep Iran today over the death in custody last Friday of Mahsa Amini, arrested for breaching sexist dress laws.

In Sari, north of Tehran, large crowds cheered as women set their hijabs alight in defiant acts of protest. Street protests took place in Tehran itself and other cities, student protests have been staged at universities and bazaars across Iranian Kurdistan have been shut in protest.

“Progressive and left commentators in Iran are indicating that the events over the last few days, and the new manner in which the protesters are resisting and confronting the security forces, clearly shows that the relationship between the people and the ruling theocratic regime has entered a new stage.

“Given the highly unjust economic system and the reactionary enforcement of Islamic laws, the ruling dictatorship lost most of its social base long ago. It is finding it increasingly harder to control the situation without resorting to brute force and mass oppression, thus entering dangerous territory in its confrontation with the people.

“The continuing popular and widescale revulsion at the death of Mahsa Amini shows the sheer depth in unpopularity of the theocratic dictatorship and its crisis at home. A wide spectrum of opposition forces is now using these protests to force the ruling regime into retreat with the demand to abolish the reactionary and hated “morality police” as a first non-negotiable demand.

“CODIR has called for the widest possible international solidarity with the struggle of the Iranian people for their human and democratic rights, as well as peace and social justice, in this dark moment for the country.”

On 20 September 2022, in his maiden address to the UN General Assembly, the left-wing progressive Chilean President, Gabriel Boric, talked the urgent need to “put an end to the abuses of the powerful anywhere in the world and to mobilise our efforts to stop violence against women – whether it be in Iran, in memory of Mahsa Amini who died at the hands of the police this week, or anywhere in the world.”