Iran Protests: Girls Being Sent Off To Psychiatric Ward For Protesting Against Islamic Revolution; 184 People Dead

Iran Protests: Girls Being Sent Off To Psychiatric Ward For Protesting Against Islamic Revolution; 184 People Dead

by Swarajya Staff - Friday, October 14, 2022 04:42 PM IST
Iran Protests: Girls Being Sent Off To Psychiatric Ward For Protesting Against Islamic Revolution; 184 People Dead A protester holds up a portrait of Mahsa Amini. Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Women protesters are being sent off to psychiatric wards as, according to an Iranian minister, they have developed "anti-social characters" and needed to be "reformed".

Protests in Iran have entered their fourth week. The protests began after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died in police custody. She was detained by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab ‘properly’. 

The law was adopted back in 1983, four years after Iran witnessed the Islamic revolution. It mandates that all women must wear a hijab in public, even if they are not Muslims and not Iranian. 

‘Tehran Youth', one of the organisations behind the widespread protests, called for more intensive protests across Iran, to overthrow the Islamic regime.

More than 184 people have died, as a result of Iran’s crackdown on the protesters. A significant number of those dead are children. Twenty-eight children are dead, as per conservative estimates.

UNICEF has said that it is extremely concerned "by continuing reports of children and adolescents being killed, injured and detained amid the ongoing public unrest in Iran".

Children's Rights Protection Society, a Tehran-based group, has disclosed that parents of these children are not aware where their children are.

The average age of people detained for protesting is 15, as per Ali Fadavi, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s deputy commander. 

Women who are protesting are being sent off to psychiatric wards.

Iran’s Education Minister Yousef Nouri, in an interview with Shargh, an Iranian newspaper, confirmed that women who are burning their hijab, are indeed being sent off to psychiatric institutions.

“It is possible these students have become ‘anti-social characters’ and we want to reform them. They can return to class after they’ve been reformed,” he said. 

Iran seems to have started its own re-education camps. 

Meanwhile, protesters across Iran are shouting “mullahs get lost", and “death to the Islamic regime".

Gunshots were fired in the nationwide anti-hijab protests today. The gunshots were heard in Isfahan and Saqez, according to information by Iran Human Rights, an Oslo-based NGO. 

The security forces reportedly fled after the gunshots were fired.

Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused the West of stoking riots in Iran.

The United Nations (UN) has expressed concern about the regime’s use of excessive force to crack down on the protests. 

The violent crackdown on protests began in Sanandaj, as per a report from Arab News. Sanandaj is the capital of Kurdistan province, which is the province Amini originally hailed from. 

Protests are being suppressed violently in other provinces as well. Iran is using special forces to ensure that the protests don’t pose a risk to the regime.

The city of Zahedan is situated in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. As of now, 93 people have been killed for protesting against the Islamic regime. 

The people of Zahedan were protesting because a teenage girl was reportedly raped by a police commander of the region. The Iranian regime has denied this incident.

It is worth flagging that the Iranian regime has also denied Mahsa Amini died as a result of torture in police custody. 

A forensic investigation conducted by the Iranian regime concluded that the 22-year-old Amini died as a result of long-term illness.

Amini’s parents say that their 22-year-old daughter died as a result of violent blows to her forehead. Her cousin who lives in Iraq also stated that she died as a result of her head being bashed. 

Iran previously witnessed such widespread protests back in 2019-2020. Those protests were triggered by a 50 per cent to 200 per cent hike in fuel prices. The fact that income per head has remained stagnant in Iran since 2012 certainly didn’t help either. 

The Iranian regime, even during those protests, cracked down using disproportionate force.

Historically, the most reliable organisation to crack down on protests against the Islamic regime has been the Basij. 

The Basij are paramilitary volunteers who are extremely loyal to the Islamic revolution.

Ironically, the literal translation of Basij is ‘mobilisation of the oppressed’. It is hard to know if the irony is intentional or unintentional. 

The Basij was established in 1977, shortly after the Islamic revolution. Basij’s goal is to eliminate internal threats to the Islamic revolution. Basij has a membership of around 1 million people. 

In the eyes of people, who are members of the Basij, removing the hijab is not a commonsensical move but a sign of western debauchery, and that it is in fact promotion of adultery.

It is necessary to pay attention to Basij’s world-view because a significant number of Iranians, especially those who live in rural areas, share this world-view. 

Basij members also get a leg up in public sector employment and university admissions, which perhaps explains its large membership base.

Many people outside Iran are hoping that these protests will lead to the end of Islamic revolution.

The chances of this happening is negligible. The Iranian regime has, over time, become better in suppressing protests.  

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