Iran in turmoil over killing

By Jane Green 

“The murder of Mahsa Amini is the trigger that has set off an unprecedented massive nationwide protest across Iran”, Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary of the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) told the Morning Star [British left-wing daily]. “The scale of this protest mobilization is similar to that which shook Iran in November 2019 amidst protests against the sudden tripling in the price of petrol.”

The CODIR spokesperson confirmed that since the news broke of the killing, in the custody of the “morality police,” of the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, the protest has become significantly wider and more intense. The bazaars in Iranian-Kurdistan have been shut in protest, while the streets of Tehran and other major cities have witnessed massive protest demonstrations in condemnation of the killing. “Protesters are now calling openly for transition from theocratic dictatorship to a national democratic republic guaranteeing human and democratic rights, as well as social justice. Since Sunday, major universities across Iran have been the scenes of demonstrations by students demanding a fundamental change in the political system in Iran.”

Women’s protests continued to sweep Iran today over the death in custody Mahsa Amini, arrested for breaching sexist dress laws.

In Sari, north of Tehran, large crowds cheered as women set their hijabs alight in defiant acts of protest. Street protests took place in Tehran itself and other cities, student protests have been staged at universities and bazaars across Iranian Kurdistan have been shut in protest.

“Progressive and left commentators in Iran are indicating that the events over the last few days, and the new manner in which the protesters are resisting and confronting the security forces, clearly shows that the relationship between the people and the ruling theocratic regime has entered a new stage.

“Given the highly unjust economic system and the reactionary enforcement of Islamic laws, the ruling dictatorship lost most of its social base long ago. It is finding it increasingly harder to control the situation without resorting to brute force and mass oppression, thus entering dangerous territory in its confrontation with the people.

“The continuing popular and widescale revulsion at the death of Mahsa Amini shows the sheer depth in unpopularity of the theocratic dictatorship and its crisis at home. A wide spectrum of opposition forces is now using these protests to force the ruling regime into retreat with the demand to abolish the reactionary and hated “morality police” as a first non-negotiable demand.

“CODIR has called for the widest possible international solidarity with the struggle of the Iranian people for their human and democratic rights, as well as peace and social justice, in this dark moment for the country.”  

Jane Green in Campaigns Officer for CODIR

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