Iran Protests: A Call for Freedom


Layan Al-Khaled, News Editor

The tragedies that have occurred in Iran the past several weeks have included women of all ages being subject to horrendous human rights violations at the hands of the government. Contrary to popular belief, the mandatory hijab rule was not the incentive to the uprising, but it was the coup de grace. In the chaos that has ensued the face of the Iranian protests have been teenage girls.

Protests first erupted September 16 when the death of 22-year-old Iranian, Mahsa Amini, was revealed to have been the result of misconduct by the Guidance Patrol, the vice police force of Iran, who had arrested her under the pretense of “immodesty,” as she wore her hijab in a way that did not comply with the laws of the state. 

Amini’s death ignited mass protests in almost every major city in Iran. Protesters stood in opposition to suffocating laws that have been enforced disproportionately against women. Recent demonstrations have revived a long-shouted call for reform. Amini’s death was only the tipping point.

Although revolutions have been common in the Middle East, Iran’s is unique in that it is headed largely by teenage girls. The soul of the fight, and the very essence of the call for change, the girls are driven by the undeniable force of teenage rebellion. 

These brave women have taken a brave stance against the government. Those familiar to the socio-political environment of Iran are well aware of the brutalization that follows such criticism. As of October 12th, the Iran Human Rights organization (IHR) has reported a death toll of 201 as a consequence of the protests. The protesters’ actions have caused nations including the United States to impose sanctions in opposition to human rights violations committed against Iranian citizens.