WOMEN LEAD A YEAR OF TRIAL AND PROTEST IN IRAN - Reflections from the Middle East
11 September 2023
It represents MEP’s commitment to explore the sociopolitical dynamics at play in the Islamic Republic, the role of young girls and women in mobilizing voices for change, the response of the clerics and those at the highest ech- elons of power, as well as the reactions in the rest of the MENA region. [...] The regime didn’t count on the perseverance of the demonstrators, the enduring power of the slogan, “Women, Life, Freedom” or the international support that the image of a young woman killed simply over the matter of a scarf too loosely draped over the head would engender. [...] The expectation among many observers was that the death of the young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of the Morality Police for violating the hijab, and the widespread pro- tests that ensued, would lead the government to ease up on hijab enforcement. [...] The reappearance of the Morality Police, announced by the police spokesperson, Montazeri al-Mahdi, signaled a renewed attempt by the regime to enforce the observance of the hijab on the country’s women and girls. [...] Aftermath of the uprising The protest movement, with its resounding cry of “Woman, Life, Freedom,” that followed the death of Mahsa Amini, and the harsh response of the security forces, resulted in the death of hundreds, the arrest of thousands, and then trials, mass trials, and long prison sentences.