Crime & Justice

Iranian schoolgirls take off hijab in anti-regime protests

By Jaime Leon

Tehran, Oct 5 (EFE).- From widespread rallies stifled by violence, to high school and university students removing their headscarves in defiance of the Iranian regime, violent unrest has persisted throughout the Islamic republic over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.

Women walking in public without wearing mandatory hijab, people honking their horns on the streets and others shouting anti-government slogans from their balconies at night are among the bold displays of defiance shown in the country.

Amini died on September 16 after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress rules. Since then, thousands of young Iranians have taken to the streets to protest against the mandatory hijab law, and demand more freedoms.


Over the past two days, protests have spread to universities and high schools.

In the city of Sanandaj, people chanted “Women, life, freedom” while waving their headscarves defiantly, according to a video published by activists.

Another video showed young students in the city of Karaj in the Alborz province removing their hijabs and throwing them at a teacher.

In cities like Tehran, young protesters have marched through the streets, while car horns honked in support, videos showed.

Current protests are calmer than those that gripped the country days ago.

“This, (…) shows how uncontrollable the #IranProtests are becoming. Unless they want to start beating & arresting school kids, there is no going back from this,” Sina Toossi, an analyst at the Center for International Policy in Washington, wrote on Twitter.

So far, Iranian security forces have cracked down on protesters, with violent dispersals and arrests of demonstrators, activists, journalists and public figures supporting the protests, while blaming the unrest on a “conspiracy” involving the United States and Israel.

At least 41 people have died amid the protests, according to Iranian state television. However, Oslo-based Human Rights in Iran NGO placed the number of those killed at 92.


Facing repression, the protests have been evolving in an unpredictable way.

Rallies took place across Iran during the first days of the demonstrations, which led to heavy clashes with security forces using batons, tear gas and, according to the United Nations, live ammunition.

Once those clashes quelled, protests erupted at universities, most of which switched back to face-to-face classes on Saturday after they were suspended a week ago during the unrest.

Tehran’s prominent Sharif University of Technology suspended in-person learning and moved to online classes on Monday, following clashes with security forces that arrested some 36 students.

“Gunshots have been heard around the campus. The situation is not safe,” the newspaper of Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology said on Sunday.

In response, the authorities have deployed riot police around universities.

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