Iranian women shave heads and burn hijabs on TikTok to protest Mahsa Amini’s death

Iranian women shave heads and burn hijabs on TikTok to protest Mahsa Amini’s death

Iranian women are using TikTok as a platform to protest the death of Mahsa Amini last week, by posting videos of themselves shaving their heads, cutting their hair and burning hijabs.

It comes as the 22-year-old woman’s death sparked a wave of protests across the country, after her death after being detained by Iran’s so-called morality police.

Amini was in Tehran with her family when she was arrested for wearing an “inappropriate hijab”. She was allegedly beaten and died on Friday (September 16), three days after being detained.

Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Rahimi, has rejected the allegations and said the claims that Amini was abused in any way are “absolutely false”.

According to local reports, police said she suffered a heart attack, but her family insisted she had no health problems and alleged she was assaulted while in the custody of the morality police.

The public anger over her death has sparked an outbreak of political unrest in Iran, with protests reported in Tehran, Qazvin, Arak, Mashhad, and many other cities.

Women unable to participate in the protests have turned to TikTok to express their anger at Amini’s death, with the hashtag #mahsaamini receiving more than 66m views at the time of writing.

Several videos show Iranian women cutting their hair or the bottom of their hijabs in solidarity with Amini, who was punished under the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code that requires women to wear headscarves in public.

One TikToker who posted a video of herself taking off her hijab wrote in the caption: “I can’t show the video of me cutting my hair off [sic] religious reasons and as a symbol of solidarity I also made a video cutting my scarf to spread the message.”

Another woman, who cuts her long hair in her video, wrote: “Say her name, give her justice, Mahsa Amini.”

Others have taken their protest a step further by shaving their heads completely. Some men also took part in the protest and shaved their hair in solidarity with Iranian women.

Since the protests began, five people have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

In the city of Saqez in the Kurdish region, two people died after authorities opened fire on protesters. Two others died in the city of Divandarreh, and a fifth person was killed in Dehgolan.

The head of the morality police was reportedly suspended following the deaths.

Amini’s death has been condemned by other countries including France and the United States. A spokesman for the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said it was “murder”.

The human rights organization Amnesty International responded to the incident: “The circumstances leading to the suspicious death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, including allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in custody, must be criminally investigated.

“She was arbitrarily arrested three days before her death by the so-called ‘morality police’ in Tehran while enforcing the country’s abusive, degrading and discriminatory coercive concealment laws. All agents and officers responsible must face justice.”

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