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Masha Amini (22) died after being arrested by Iranian vice police for wearing the hijab the “wrong” way. She and all other women should have the right to decide for themselves if and how to wear the hijab.
Iranian authorities shut down much of the internet. The rest of the world must speak out.
The diet in Iran is notorious. The human rights situation in the country is serious. Freedom of expression is very limited, you risk imprisonment for disagreeing with the regime. The right of women to live a free and independent life is very limited. Many are subjected to torture and the death penalty.
Iran has a separate police force to enforce “decency”. Reuters and NTB describe this moral policy as follows:Iran’s so-called “morality police” are responsible for ensuring compliance with Islamic morality as described by the country’s religious authorities. This includes, among other things, reporting on the “bad hijab”, a collective term that applies to violations of the country’s strict dress code for women.“.
Not only women are forced by others on what to wear. They can also be wrong. Showing a few wisps of hair, wearing clothes that are too colorful or a little too tight can be enough to get you hit in the face with a baton. Children under nine can be punished and persecuted.
For a A few years ago, I had the chance to meet Masih Alinejad from Iran. She fights so that Iranian women can dress as they wish. She constantly receives death threats because of her statements and has been the victim of kidnapping attempts. She needs protection to express her opinions.
Masha Amini was beaten by vice police and later died from head injuries. The regime tries to cover up the death and believes it has other causes. His death led to massive protests. Those who take to the streets risk their lives and health in their fight for basic human rights. They need to know that we are on their side in the fight.
He is very upsetting to see how the Iranian authorities are handling the murder. What-about-ism takes on a whole new dimension when reading the Iranian president’s statements to the UN General Assembly. Edrahim Raisi believes countries that criticize Amini’s killing are a “double standard”, referring to the treatment of Indigenous women in Canada and IS’s treatment of religious minorities. It is completely beyond the realm of possibility to claim that the actions committed against Amini can be excused or explained by the fact that the injustice was also committed against others.
The women in Iran is now furious. With reason. Many are protesting – literally putting their lives on the line. We will support them with words. But we need to find other ways to provide real support. The Norwegian authorities should actively show their solidarity and support for the protesters. We should also work actively to support the work that several organizations are doing in the country to promote human rights.
Amini’s death should be the last warning signal. In Iran, we see women and men defying fear and taking to the streets. Those who believed the regime could be reformed must look to the Iranian people for hope. In Western countries too, one must be on the lookout for the existence of an informal morality police.
The right of choosing yourself whether or not you want to wear the hijab is fundamental. Active efforts must be made against the religious environment to promote the right of women to choose for themselves, more minority counselors are needed to follow up children and young people. With Amini, this fight now has a face.
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