Justice for Mahsa Amini and Freedom for Women in Iran



September 28. 2022

Once again I am heartbroken at the loss of yet another woman at the hands of Iran’s repressive regime. The 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested and beaten to death on a street in Tehran for her “improper hijab,” for not completely covering her hair with a piece of cloth, hence “promoting corruption in society.” She was killed by the so-called morality police-- missioned by the government to hammer its own concept of morality into women’s minds. 

Mahsa is not only a symbol of millions of women who have been deprived of their basic rights, arrested, detained, and killed under the Islamic Republic regime in the past 43 years. Her story echoes back to another Iranian woman, Qorrat al-Ayn, a poet and women’s rights activist who was executed in 1852 for removing her veil and speaking her mind in an assembly of male religious leaders. It reminds us of the fate of Farrokhroo Parsa, Iran’s first female Minister of Education who was executed in 1980 by the government for “spreading prostitution.” 

Women and men in Iran are bravely challenging the Islamic Republic, the only theocracy in the world, and calling for justice. Mahsa’s story will reverberate in the future of Iran, which is currently being shaped in the streets. And it is for that future that I and the members of the Women’s Learning Partnership stand with all Iranian women and men fighting for their rights, chanting “Woman, Life, Freedom!”

In Solidarity,

Mahnaz Afkhami

Founder and President of Women's Learning Partnership

Former Minister of Women's Affairs in Iran


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