The Lead: Protests in Iran
Protests in Iran have been raging for over two weeks, seemingly led by college students in Tehran. The death toll is in the dozens, although news outlets vary on the exact number.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Ahamenei accused the United States and Israel of stoking these protests.
“I say explicitly that these riots and this insecurity were a design by the US and the occupying, fake Zionist regime and those who are paid by them,” he said on Monday.
That may be true but that is not why protesters came. They came to protest the death of a 22 year-old woman who died in police custody after she was arrested for wearing an “improper” hijab, or head covering. Her family says that she was beaten but a video released by Iranian police shows her collapsing in the lobby of a police station after walking around, seemingly fine.
Whether she was beaten or not may not be relevant. Many women do not want to live in a society where they can be arrested for not covering their heads and they are making that known. It is dangerous for them to do this. Many are posting videos and images of their uncovered heads to punctuate what it is that they want.