with videoIran is currently the scene of much violence. Dozens of people are said to have died in ongoing protests. Access to social media is increasingly difficult in the Arab country.
Sep 22. 2022
It has been very restless in Iran for days. Police brutality mars the streets of, among other places, the Iranian capital Tehran. Both civilians and police officers have been killed in protests against police brutality against women. According to Iranian state television, the death toll has risen to 17 people. The Iranian human rights organization IHR, which operates from Oslo, says the real death toll is much higher. According to the organization, at least 31 civilians have been killed by police brutality in recent days.
Fatal blow to dress code
The actions started on Friday, after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died. She was arrested by the religious police because she did not comply with the Islamic dress code. According to the protesters, Amini received a fatal blow to her head by the police and died at the station. Police deny and say she died of natural causes. Iranian authorities have announced that they will investigate her death.
After Amini’s death, large protests broke out in at least 15 Iranian cities. Women took off their veils and cut their hair. The protests are seen as the largest since 2019. The police intervened hard and targeted shots were fired in some places. There is a lot of uncertainty about the exact number of civilians killed. According to Iranian media, pro-government demonstrations will take place on Friday.
Since Wednesday, access has been largely blocked in Iran to Instagram and WhatsApp, social media platforms where protesters spoke to each other. In the western region of Kurdistan there would even be no internet at all.
New United States sanctions
In response to the young woman’s death and violence against protesters, the US government has imposed sanctions against seven officials. These are high-ranking people within, among others, the Iranian religious police and the Ministry of Security. Any assets they have in the US will be frozen and foreign banks should no longer be allowed to do business with them, according to the US government.
Interview without headscarf
Meanwhile, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi canceled an interview with CNN at the last minute after presenter Christiane Amanpour refused to wear a headscarf. According to Amanpour, employees of Raisi came at the last minute with the demand for a headscarf, while the interview was to take place in New York.
“I very politely declined the request on behalf of myself, CNN and women journalists everywhere,” Amanpour told her CNN colleagues. In Iran itself she would be happy to comply with such a request, she explained, but not in America. ,,It is customary there, then you wear a headscarf, otherwise you cannot do your job as a journalist. But here in New York or anywhere outside of Iran, no Iranian president, and I’ve interviewed them all since 1995, has ever asked me to wear a headscarf,” said Amanpour, who is of British-Iranian descent.
The exact reason for the cancellation is unknown. “I don’t think he wanted to be seen next to a woman who isn’t wearing a headscarf at this point,” the CNN host speculated.
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