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“Women, life, freedom!
On September 16 in Teheran, Mahsa Amini, 22 years old, an Iranian born in the town of Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan, died from the sequels of skull trauma, two days following her arrest by Iranian police because a strand of hair was not covered by her veil. The shockwave is shaking Iran.”
Such are the opening words of the Iranian film maker, now become a Parisian since a good while and who signs her blog posts “Persian sparrow”.
We are quoting this article by Sepideh Farsi with a recommendation to read it so that we do not have to repeat the circumstances of the death Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, and of the chain of mobilizations it set off.
Like so many other assassinations in Iran, and like all the successive political executions, this assassination could have simply been yet another crime of the regime.
But the Iranian regime was soon confronted with a mobilization of women, of youths, joined by those suffering both from the economic crisis and the yoke of religious power.
Beginning in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat), where repression has been fierce since, a multitude of protests have spread over a good part of Iran and videos of them are everywhere on social networks, despite the regime’s repressive forces.
The fact Mahsa Amini was from Kurdistan and that the Kurds of Iran have kept up a strong spirit of resistance that a number of young people have paid by hanging in the past ten years, is not insignifiant. Resistance against the authorities who wished to bury the body discretely, set off this revolt. Using the diaspora’s networks to spread the information setting off the first elements of support did the rest.
But that does not explain why so many young people, so many women who are confronted by the regime’s repression went from a form of apathy and apparent submission to braving the regime’s hybrid forces , up to and including giving up their life.
Mahsa Amini’s assassination occurred in a context where Iranian society can no longer put up with both an economic crisis and the regime’s tightening of religious obscurantism since the last elections. Iranian civilian society is falling apart, some being driven to searching for means of survival, for others, the search for spaces of clandestine freedom, and despair over the future for the youngest ones. Contrary to many other religious regimes however, this society counts many people, both young and less young, who have received a top-level university education. And these many educated social strata are excluded from political power, with decisions affecting the whole of society being taken in Iran by the religious caste, with a complexe system of repression of social life insuring the application of the law and order.
One of those repressive cogs is called to task for this revolt, of which the outcome is easily guessed.
The regime made a concession by announcing an “inquest” into Mahsa Amini’s death, but was quick to widen it to “the circumstances having led to the troubles”, notably in Kurdistan and in Teheran, during the demonstrations and after. A great number of women are particularly targeted, and all the images are analyzed to that purpose.
For the time being, the best support consists in spreading this mobilization across all social networks. We must expect having to react to repression and supporting persons who are arrested and imprisoned.
However a few additional remarks are called for concerning reactions in Europe, in particular.
We know that the Caroline Fourest, Retailleau and Co, and the worst of the far right racists will take hold of Mahsa Amini’s assassination to develop their racist and islamophobic neuroses. This is the case in other European countries where the xenophobic right wings are in need of fuel.
We know that those who are nostalgic over the bloody regime that came before the Iranian Islamic Republic will also line up in the front row.
The revolts in Iran do not denounce Islam but a regime of religious, political and social oppression that, has driven the country to the edge of the economic abyss by its policies. And European States are turning precisely toward this same regime in order to negotiated fossil fuel agreements.
These right-wing and extreme right-wing movements and parties as well as financial capitalism thus have no interest in a destabilization of Iran, and will use the matter of the “Islamic veil” more than that of support to mobilizations of women and young people in Iran.
Slogans such as “women over there, women here against the veil” already appearing are nothing but a farce providing no real support to Iranian women, but in tune with xenophobic policies over heres.
That women be at the forefront of the struggle against the regime is primordial, that they carry with themselves the youths and wider swaths of Iranian society will prove essential. And that is the movement of social emancipation that will lead those religious clerics to their mosques, where they belong.
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Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges
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