Nicolas Tremblay and Nour Zaher
Staff Writer and News Editor
The protests were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini on September 13th, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by officials for allegedly not wearing the hijab properly, as it is mandatory in Iran for women to do so.
Reports show that she was beaten on the head with a police baton, suggesting that the heart attack was just a cover-up. The government declared that such allegations were untrue and made up. Officers say that she died from a heart attack, showing video footage of her falling to the floor at the police station. This was also followed by photos of her unconscious on a hospital bed, covered in tubes and cables, with blood leaking from one ear, started to circulate. This only fueled public anger, which resulted in the protests.
The protests consist of women burning their headscarves in retaliation and public chants saying “Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator.” This is meant to refer to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The ongoing protests in Iran have led the Iranian authorities to use unethical and inhumane methods to prevent protesters from going against the regime. Manifestations are used by anti-regime protesters to revolt against the regime, while supporters of the regime protest against them. So far, 530 protesters have died and 22,000 were arrested. Sexual abuse, physical abuse and torture are often described by released prisoners of the state. The authorities are denying these crimes against humanity and blaming the Western governments and media for spreading lies about the situation in Iran.
Still, the fight goes on, even in Montreal. Several marches took place in Park Avenue to Place des Festival in early February in solidarity with the Iranian women fighting on the streets.