The worst series of anti-government protests in Iran since the 1979 religious revolution has been ongoing for the fifth consecutive week.

The cause of these conflicts is the sudden death of a 22-year-old girl named ” Mahsa Amini”. On September 13 last month, she was arrested by the religious police in Tehran for not wearing the hijab the way it should be worn “legally”.

After being taken to the police station, she suddenly fell unconscious and died on September 16, and the Iranian authorities stated that the cause of death was a sudden heart attack.

But Mahsa Amini’s family members claimed that she was a healthy young woman and bruises were seen on her body, and it is reported that clashes between police and angry people first occurred during Mahsa Amini’s funeral on September 17 in her hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan.

After that, in the following few days, these protests spread to Iran’s main cities like Tehran, Masajd and Isfahan. The main battle theme of the agitators was “Death to Dictator”.

University students could be seen at the forefront of these protests and as the protests started to get worse gradually by burning police stations in Tehran, the Iranian government tried to control the situation by restricting social media networks such as WhatsApp and Instagram, but it was unsuccessful.

The Islamic Revolutionary Army’s Basij, a military unit established after the 1979 revolution with the aim of protecting the Islamic regime in Iran, managed to quell such anti-government demonstrations in the past.

But this time, the commando soldiers of the special unit known as Saberin of the Islamic Revolutionary Army are also seen in these areas, which shows the seriousness of these protests.

Addressing the nation on October 3, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah al-Khomeini, said that Amina’s death was “heartbreaking” and that Iran’s arch-enemies, the United States and Israel, are conspiring to provoke the people against the government by using this isolated incident.

It is reported that more than 200 people have been killed in the clashes and among them are members of the security forces.

Also, on October 15, four inmates died and other people were injured due to a disturbance that occurred along with a fire in the Evin prison where political prisoners are held in Iran.

This uprising will likely be suppressed in the next few weeks by a severe crackdown that will be hidden from the rest of the world. It will be difficult to avoid hearing more about Mahsa Amini from Iran.

By RMG Perera

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