Clayman Institute statement on protests in Iran
To watch Iranian women and girls protest their oppression is to experience deep admiration for their courage and leadership, outrage at their treatment, and terror for their personal safety. These protests, which have been going on for four weeks, started after a 22 year-old woman, Mahsa Zhina Amini, died at the hands of the morality police because they disapproved of the way she covered her hair. The policing of women’s bodies has no place in any society and creates tragic ends for people whose only real crime is being women. We remember Mahsa Zhina Amini and the many young women who have died protesting their brutal totalitarian government, including Hadis Najafi, Sarina Esmailzadeh, Shirin Alizade, and Nika Shakarami.
Like thousands of others, journalist Niloofar Hamedi, whose coverage of Amini’s death broke the story open for the world to see, has been imprisoned without any clear charge of a crime. In this country and university we have the privilege of free expression, and using it to support the women, girls, and people of Iran is something we can and absolutely should do. We urge the media to uplift the voices of protest and to report on the violent crackdowns against protesters in Iran. We urge others with a public platform to use it in support of protesting women, girls, and university students.
Follow our Senior Research Scholar Arghavan Salles on Twitter (@arghavan_salles) for valuable perspectives from an Iranian-American woman, doctor, and gender equity scholar, or review her recommendations for taking action (http://bit.ly/freeiran2022).