Lee Heidhues 10.7.2022
People may be protesting around the Globe the murder by Iran’s “morality police” of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for violating the strict dress code for women.
But, back in Iran, it’s business as usual. The government continues its crackdown on protest as The People struggle to have their voice of protest heard.
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 10.7.2022
Iranian authorities have been struggling to put an end to the demonstrations that have roiled the country for weeks. The protests against the leadership began following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest by Iran’s so-called morality police for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.
The internet is still very slow. I feel cut off from the world;” “VPN connections don’t work this time either;” “Messaging services like WhatsApp or Signal are blocked.” These kinds of messages are rife in Iran amid escalating anti-hijab protests and people in the Islamic country are reporting extensive internet blockades.
Streets in the capital Tehran are quieter during the day. It’s a long weekend in the country, but more protests are planned for the coming days. To prevent this from happening, the country’s police and security forces are arbitrarily arresting civil society activists and journalists.
On Wednesday, Iranian police arrested Amir Mirmirani, one of the country’s best-known bloggers. For a decade, Mirmirani has been producing a tech podcast, “Jadi.” In 2021, it received a national prize for the dissemination of knowledge.
From an award-winning blogger and podcaster, Mirmirani has become a “public enemy,” as his recent podcasts have openly criticized the internet blockades. He is also one of the few tech pros who did not support the government’s plans to “nationalize” the internet. Five of these IT experts have been arrested in the past few days as a result.
Authorities have so far detained people from various walks of life, including football players, singers, students, filmmakers and women’s rights activists.
“The wave of arrests started in Kurdistan, shortly after Mahsa Amini’s funeral,” said Asieh Amini, an author and women’s rights activist who currently lives in exile in Norway.
She has compiled a list of female activists who have been arrested in the past three weeks. Among those on the list is Bahareh Hedayat, who was detained by authorities on October 3. The 41-year-old has been repeatedly arrested over the past 13 years, following the 2009 anti-government protests in the country. She has served a total of seven years in prison during this period for her peaceful advocacy for greater democracy in Iran. She has not commented publicly on the ongoing demonstrations.
Top photo – Mahsa Amini – Murdered by Iran’s “morality police.”