Demonstrations have carried on into their third straight night as Iranians protest police abuses against women. The protests come in the wake of the killing of Mahsa Amini, a woman who was detained by Iran’s “morality” police while on a trip to Tehran with her family.
Reports in the Kurdistan region of Iran, a region in the northwest, say that civil society organizations have called for a general strike “against the torture and murder of Jina Mahsa Amini by Iranian forces.”
Various Kurdish groups have supported the protesters. The young woman was detained last Tuesday and fell into a coma after being beaten by police, according to Iranian reports.
She was detained because Iran has thuggish theocratic “morality” police who are known to terrorize women and accuse them of not covering their hair to the standards the regime requires.
She was taken to a police station where she later was reported to have fainted and was taken to the hospital. The police claimed she had heart failure, but the family alleges that she was tortured and had a brain hemorrhage.
Her death was confirmed on Friday and authorities in Iran have recognized that the murder of a young woman by police will anger locals. The authorities have tried to excuse and justify the death of Amini, they have even appeared to admit mistakes, but the anger of average people has poured out onto the streets.
Kurds take to the streets of Iran
Protests began in the Kurdish region of Iran, some Kurds suspect that the murder of Amini was linked to the abuse of Kurdish minorities in general.
This is because the Kurdish region has its own culture and the regime treats Kurds differently than Persians in Tehran. Protests have taken place in Urmia, Kermanshah, Saqqez, Ilam and Sanandaj, according to Iranian reports.
In the Kurdistan autonomous region of Iraq, Kurdistan Democratic Party President (KDP) President Masoud Barzani on Monday held a phone call with the family of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, according to Kurdistan24 (K24).
“President Barzani expressed his condolences to the family of the 22-year-old Kurdish girl, wishing them peace and strength in this difficult time, a statement from the Kurdish leader’s office read,” K24 said.
He hoped that justice would be served. The report said that “Amini was violently arrested by the morality police last week when she was on a family trip to the capital Tehran."
"She was later admitted to a hospital, where she spent three days in a coma while in police custody. Reports quickly emerged her death was due to a hit she inflicted as a result of the arrest. The government denied it, saying she died due to a heart attack. Amini’s mother refused she had suffered any underlying condition previously.”
K24 also reported that a “coordinated strike took place in cities in Iranian Kurdistan in response to the earlier suspicious death of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa (Zhina) Amini who died after she was arrested by the morality police for not covering up properly….Videos posted by activists show that there were shop owners closed their shops in the cities of Saqqiz, Mariwan, Sine (Sanandaj), Bane, Dewilan, Bokan, Mahabad, Sardasht, Shino, and Ciwanro in protest.”
“Coordinated strike took place in cities in Iranian Kurdistan in response to the earlier suspicious death of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa (Zhina) Amini who died after she was arrested by the morality police for not covering up properly….Videos posted by activists show that there were shop owners closed their shops in the cities of Saqqiz, Mariwan, Sine (Sanandaj), Bane, Dewilan, Bokan, Mahabad, Sardasht, Shino, and Ciwanro in protest.”K24
Iran uses life fire against protesters
Iran has moved to crush the protests. Video posted online shows live fire being used against protesters and police beating a woman. Internet access has been cut off or reduced in cities where the protests are ongoing. NetBlocks confirmed the lack of internet access in Sanandaj.
Security forces have been accused of shooting a child as part of their crackdown and videos have emerged showing women removing their headscarves to protest the regime.
Protesters have taken down the Iran regime flag in Saqqez, where the protests began days ago. Some Kurdish websites refer to the Iranian regime as “occupiers” of this region.
Many Kurdish political parties and rebel groups have resisted the regime for decades; including the group PDKI and PJAK. There are many Kurdish groups active in the area that oppose the regime. The question is now whether the protests will grow outside the Kurdish regions and western regions of Iran.
The Iranian regime leader Ebrahim Raisi is visiting the UN this week. He recently was given an interview with CBS 60 Minutes where he questioned the Holocaust.
It does not appear the Iranian regime leader was questioned about human rights abuses, the murder of women who don’t wear hijabs, or the abuses of minorities.
The Iranian regime in the past has critiqued the US for police violence, such as in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. It is unclear if the regime has been asked about its own role in murdering women such as Amini.