Woman. Life. Freedom.

Maddy Snyder, Editor/Writer

How one girl ignited protests all over the world 

Over the past two weeks, the name “Mahsa Amini” has become familiar to everyone. The twenty-two-year-old woman was visiting Tehran, a city in Iran, with her brother, Ashkan, when she was stopped by Iran’s morality police for wearing her hijab “too loosely.” Ashkan informed the police officers that they were unfamiliar with the city and not accustomed to the dress code, but he was met with pepper-spray in the face. The officers then forced Mahsa into their van and took her to the morality station, beating and insulting her on the journey. At the station, Mahsa was tortured and suffered a blow to the head before losing conciseness. Eventually, an ambulance was called, but before it arrived at the hospital, she fell into a coma. After three days, she was officially pronounced dead.  

Iranian officials claim her death was unrelated to the police and the result of a freak heart attack, but Mahsa’s family has come forward and said she had no pre-existing heart condition. Skepticism over the government’s statement has sparked protests all over the world to bring freedom to Iran. 

Unlike countries like the United States, Iran is a theocracy, meaning it does not separate church and state. Islam is enforced in almost every aspect of life by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. For example, religious minorities are routinely attacked, activists are severely punished, and, of course, women are forced to wear headscarves, even if they are not Muslim. 

(Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP) (AFP)

Mahsa’s death was the enlightening push people needed to rebel against Iran’s oppression. Protesters in Iran have coined the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom” as their battle cry, shouting it in the streets and printing it on pamphlets. From Los Angeles to Paris to Istanbul, people all over the world have joined in the fight, some women even cutting their hair to show support. 

Iran’s government has yet to respond but continues to punish protesters. The death toll is currently at an estimated 92 deaths, but many expect those numbers to soar. 

Iran’s future is uncertain, but one thing is crystal clear: Mahsa Amini’s death will not be forgotten.