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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Anti-government protests escalate in Iran

By Bren BelmonteStaff Writer

FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM After the death of Mahsa Amini, protestors rally together in Istanbul.

   In recent months, Iranian security forces opened fire on demonstrators and launched tear gas due to the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini by the “morality police” for disobeying the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. 

   As soon as her passing was reported, the women’s rights movement in Iran gained traction and quickly expanded to dozens of nearby cities in Western Asia.   

   An unidentified man in Sanandaj who was honking at security personnel stationed on the street on Oct. 8 was shot and killed. A video circuited online depicting the murder victim slumped over the wheel while shocked bystanders yelled for help. 

   That evening, a BBC News article stated that Iran’s “TV news bulletin was hacked on air [by protestors]…[there were] images which included Iran’s supreme leader with a target on his head, photos of Amini and three other women killed in recent protests.”

   Demonstrations broke out at Azad University in northern Tehran, other parts of the city, and the bazaar. 

   The nonprofit Iran Human Rights group told BBC News that “185 people had been killed since the unrest began, including 19 children.”

   In acts of protest, despite the danger, Iranian women were burning their hijabs, cutting their hair in public, fighting with the riot police, and walking along the streets bareheaded. 

   At Iranian President Ebrahim Raidi’s press conference, broadcasted by NBC News, he stated that Iran “must deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquility.” 

   As of Oct. 4, “[The Iranian government] have removed WhatsApp and Instagram from local app stores, they have blocked connection to [the] Google Play store and App Store so [Iranians] can’t download any VPN or social media apps…they do this so protesters can’t connect to each other and can’t share news,” stated 22-year-old Ali to CNN, whose name was changed by the news network due to the fear of his safety. 

   On Sept. 23, 16-year-old Sarina Esmailzadeh “was killed when security forces beat her with batons at a protest in Gohardasht,” according to the non-governmental organization Amnesty International.

   Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old Iranian girl, died while participating in protests on Sept. 20. Her family has denied the official allegations that Shakarami died falling from a building and insists that she was murdered by regime forces.

   Schoolgirls throughout Iran shared their plans to demonstrate in support of Esmailzadeh and Shakarami via private chat groups.

     The latest events have “young people [realizing] that [there is] a battle for their future…they have to be a prominent part of it,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, to NBC News.

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Anti-government protests escalate in Iran