Anti-hijab protests in Iran: Woman chops hair on brother's grave
Amid rising anti-hijab protests against the government in Iran, a video of a woman cutting her hair on the grave of her brother killed during the protests has gone viral. This is part of a strong, symbolic protest by Iranian women worldwide to condemn the death of Mahsa Amini in the Iranian Morality Police's custody. Amini was allegedly detained for wearing the hijab "improperly."
Why does this story matter?
- Iran has been facing severe criticism over its strict moral policing toward women, including enforcing the hijab and chastity law.
- Iranian rights activists urged women to publicly remove hijabs in recent months to protest the alleged repression by the authorities.
- Meanwhile, fresh restrictions on women's dressing were enforced after President Ebrahim Raisi signed a decree to implement the hijab and chastity law last month.
Woman chops hair on her brother's grave
In the video, people can be seen offering flowers at the grave of Javad Heydari—who was killed in the protests—while his sister chops her hair off. She then places the hair on top of his flower-covered grave with a group of grieving women behind her. Meanwhile, Iranian journalist-activist Masih Alinejad remarked the country's women were expressing their anguish and anger by cutting their hair.
Watch: Video of the symbolic protest shared on Twitter
Widespread anti-government protests in Iran, elsewhere
Following Amini's death earlier this month, massive protests were staged across Iran and other countries, too, against the Iranian government. Demonstrations were also held in Paris, where police resorted to tear gas and anti-riot tactics to stop protesters from reaching Iran's embassy there. Meanwhile, several arrests were made in London as authorities clashed with demonstrators attempting to breach barricades at Tehran's UK embassy.
What do we know about Amini's death?
On September 14, Amini was arrested by Tehran's Morality Police—when she was with her brother—near a metro station over "improper" hijab, Etemad had reported. Her brother—waiting outside the police headquarters—learned hours later that she was rushed to the hospital in a coma. The police claimed Amini suffered a cardiac seizure in custody and denied claims that she was beaten. She died on September 16.