Anti-government protests have been roiling in Iran since the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 17. Amini was arrested on September 13 for “unsuitable attire” by the morality police who enforce Iran’s strict Islamic dress code. She then died in the hospital three days later, with signs that she had been beaten. The government claims Amini died of a heart attack. That isn’t going over well, particularly because women with her say she was beaten.
Students at Ferdowsi University in the conservative city of Mashhad in Iran take off their hijabs chanting “freedom.” Please stand with the people of Iran on this International Day of Action for Iran and amplify their calls for freedom. #MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی #IranProtests2022 pic.twitter.com/7v3tyeK2zz
— Dr. Nina Ansary (@drninaansary) October 1, 2022
But the protests aren’t sitting well with the repressive government.
One of the videos showed security forces firing teargas to drive the students off the campus and the sound of what appeared to be shooting at a distance could be heard.
Another video showed security forces chasing dozens of students trapped in the university’s underground parking. The account said dozens of students had been arrested.
Sharif University students flee as riot police chase them on motorbikes while repeated sounds of gunshots and chants of “death to Khamenei” from windows and rooftops of Tehran can be heard, on night 17 of protests in Iran for #MahsaAmini.#مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/GxPXMFIiFs
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) October 2, 2022
Night 16 #IranProtests
Sharif University, which regularly feeds @Harvard & @MIT & gave the world the only woman to ever win a @FieldsInstitute medal, is under siege tonight in #Tehran. @SharifUni students are hooded & being taken away in unmarked vans. #Iran #Mahsa_Amini pic.twitter.com/zpjnqYTnS1
— Samira Mohyeddin سمیرا (@SMohyeddin) October 3, 2022
Some are now even calling for the mullahs to be thrown out.
“Mullah should get lost,” students passionately chant on the sidewalks while cars support them by blowing horns…the clarity of what the young generation in Iran wants is stunning.#MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی #IranProtest2022 pic.twitter.com/bmaI343R7U
— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) October 3, 2022
This is real bravery. But our government has been largely silent about this while still seeking to pursue a horrible deal with the mullahs that would likely feed a ton of money into their pockets. That encourages the government to oppress their people and puts a roadblock in their fight for freedom, in addition to being a very bad deal for us and funding Iran’s terrorism.
Reza Pahlavi — the son of the former Shah of Iran who is an advocate for a secular, democratic state — blasted the Iranian government’s action but he also spoke directly to Joe Biden.
The Islamic Republic is firing on students at #Iran's #Sharif_University. Yet, reports indicate the US may send this criminal regime billions yet again.@POTUS, you have yet to help our people. At least don't fund the bullets piercing the hearts of our youth!#MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/XZy86xG2mc
— Reza Pahlavi (@PahlaviReza) October 2, 2022
“The Islamic Republic is firing on students at #Iran’s #Sharif_University,” Pahlavi said. “Yet, reports indicate the US may send this criminal regime billions yet again.” He powerfully chastised Joe Biden for that, “You have yet to help our people. At least don’t fund the bullets piercing the hearts of our youth!”
How serious are the protests? You know they are very serious because they finally forced Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to comment and try to justify the security force’s actions.
The young girl’s death was a tragic incident that saddened us too. But the right reaction to it wasn’t for some to create insecurity for ppl, burn the Quran, Mosques, banks, & ppl’s cars, & to pull off women’s scarves. These weren’t normal acts. They were planned.#MahsaAmini
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) October 3, 2022
According to Iran Human Rights, 133 people have so far been killed in response. The government isn’t commenting on that number but instead is trying to attack the protesters claiming they’ve killed members of the security forces, characterizing the protesters as “rioters and thugs backed by foreign foes“. Hundreds have been injured and thousands are arrested.