In Iran, these schoolgirls are demonstrating with their heads unveiled, defying repression

Masih Alinejad Twitter

Masih Alinejad Twitter

School girls protest at a school in Karaj, west of Tehran, on October 3, 2022.

IRAN — Iranian schoolgirls have dared to remove their headscarves and have organized rallies in recent days to protest the death of Mahsa Amini and oppose the deadly crackdown on protests that has been taking place in Iran for nearly three weeks.

The 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died on September 16, three days after she was arrested by vice squads for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code, which requires women in particular to wear the veil.

Anger erupted during his funeral and spread across the country. Protests in Iran are the largest since 2019 against rising fuel prices.

At least 92 people have been killed since September 16, according to Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights, while authorities put the death toll at around 60, including 12 members of the security forces. According to the authorities, more than a thousand people have been arrested and more than 620 released in Tehran province alone.

Students rallied last weekend before being confronted by riot police, who cornered them in an underground car park at Tehran’s Sharif Technical University before arresting them.

Since then, schoolgirls have taken power across the country, using a variety of tactics, including taking off their veils and shouting anti-conservative slogans.

Young people “16 years old”

In several videos published and verified on social networks (to see below), young girls sing with unveiled heads “Death to the Dictator”, in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Monday October 3, at a school in Karaj, west of Tehran. Another group of girls sings “Woman, Life, Freedom” march down a street.

“These are really extraordinary scenes. If these demonstrations are supposed to lead to anything, it’s to the schoolgirls.”said Esfandyar Batmanghelidj from the information and analysis side Stock exchange & bazaar.

Other videos posted online show schoolgirls leaving classrooms to march through various locations around the city in blitz protests to avoid detection.

But Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri on Wednesday acknowledged that young people were involved in the protests and denounced the influence of social media. “The fact that 16-year-olds are present at these events is caused by social networks, they are trapped”he said, quoted by the ISNA agency.

Education Minister Yousef Nouri said, quoted by the IRNA agency “The attacks of the enemy targeted both the universities and the world of science and education”.

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