Protests calling for the fall of the clerical establishment have swept Iran since Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman died on September 16 while being detained by the morality police in Tehran for “inappropriate attire.” Amini was arrested for not wearing the hijab properly and sporting skinny jeans with “overwhelming repression.” The 22-year-old was reportedly on a family visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran. She was in an intensive care unit at Tehran’s Kasra Hospital prior to her death.
The protests mark one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. Now in their tenth week, the protests have led the country’s Revolutionary Court to issue its first known death sentence. This was issued over participation in the anti-regime protests.
According to the United Nations, an estimated 14,000 people have been arrested and detained since the protests started almost two months ago. About 1,000 people in Tehran were charged for their alleged involvement in the unrest. Prior to Sunday, an unnamed accused was sentenced to death in a Tehran court for multiple crimes. These included “setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, assembly, and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security.” They also charged them with being “an enemy of God and corruption on earth.” The judiciary website Mizan Online reported on Sunday.
Two female journalists who helped break the story of Mahsa Amini have been in jail since late September. The two were accused without evidence of being CIA agents. More protestors have been charged with offenses that could incur the death penalty. This is a country that Amnesty International says is second only to China worldwide in the number of people it executes every year.
According to an article in the NCRI Women’s Committee, virgin women must be raped prior to execution. Khomeini’s fatwa, a religious edict that in clergy-ruled Iran had the force of law, ordered the massacre of all political prisoners. In effect, he acknowledges that the rape of girls in the mullahs’ prisons was a widespread and systematic practice.
Women keep dying at the hands of men
Detainees who had been subsequently released told Amini’s brother, Kiarash, that only two hours after her arrest, Amini was taken to hospital while he waited outside the police station. It is unfortunate that in 2022, there are still Systems that favor others more than the rest. Patriarchal systems always favor Men on the expense of women. Iran’s legal system is based on a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law. Corruption and abuse are rampant in the criminal courts, though years of international advocacy have led to some incremental reforms. This was said by Hossein Raisi, a former lawyer in Iran and now a human rights professor at Carleton University in Ottawa.
But ultimately, the “Iranian judiciary system is the ‘supreme leader’ judiciary system,” he said, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the head of Iran’s theocratic government.