Following the death of an Iranian woman after being arrested, for improperly wearing a head covering, women and students across Iran have protested the conservative regime. These protests have seen Iran’s Revolutionary Guard clamp down, even shooting students.
Iranian students at Penn State University protested in solidarity on Wednesday.
These protests began after the country’s morality police detained Kurdish-Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, for the way she was dressed in mid-September. Hours later, she fell into a coma; dying three days after that on Sept. 16, which sparked outrage from Iranian women and students.
Amini’s family alleges that the officers beat her with batons and slammed her head against one of their vehicles. Police deny this, claiming Amini died from a heart attack.
Protests have seen women even burning their head coverings and cutting their hair in defiance, as well as students staging a walk-out.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has responded forcefully to these protests, with state media reporting 41 deaths since the protests began and human rights group Amnesty International placing that number higher, saying there are at least 52 dead. Though, some groups place it even higher than that.
Ali Ghazivinian, a Penn State PhD candidate originally from Iran, said this latest movement is different from all other protests that came before it.
“This time, it’s all over the country. It’s, you know, country-wide, everyone: rich, poor, middle class, everyone is there. Even every Iranian who is not in Iran — even us in the U.S., our friends in Canada, in Australia, in any country in Europe — they are all part of this,” he explained.
“So, because of that, we are not calling this protest,” he added, “we are calling it revolution.”